Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Cream (Ice Cream)


I've always been a voracious reader. Even though I'm a bit of a literary snob nowadays, like many other girls, my love of reading was humbly nurtured at a young age by The Baby-sitters Club. I read many books in the series, but I was always fascinated with the ones that were set in the wintertime. As a Florida girl, the wintry pastimes described in the series were quite novel to me, and I had great fun learning about snowball fights, sledding, and skiing through the adventures of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn.

Now that I live in Michigan, a place that actually experiences four seasons, I got my first taste of a real winter storm, complete with about a foot of snowfall overnight. Pre-storm, I was a little nervous, but I was excited too. As I made a last minute grocery run, I couldn't help but remember a particular book from the BSC series. A blizzard had struck Stoneybrook, and it was quite dramatic, what with characters being stranded roadside, or snowed in over night with a house full of kids to watch and no adults to help. No worries though. This is young adult fiction we're talking about, so everyone gets a happy ending. This included making snow ice cream for one character. (Claudia perhaps?)

Wait, ice cream made from snow? For a Florida girl, this was novel indeed.

Bringing it back to present day Michigan, an idea had been firmly planted in my head from this reverie, and I knew what I needed to do... before I went to bed last night, I placed a large metal bowl out on my back deck. This morning, I was rewarded with a heaping bowl full of freshly fallen flakes.


After consulting the blogosphere, I found several recipes for snow ice cream, but I was quite smitten with one recipe that mixed the snow with sweetened condensed milk instead of a combination of sugar and dairy, which most other recipes called for. Add some good vanilla and a touch of regular milk to the snow base and you've got a very respectable, and surprisingly tasty treat! Not only was my inner kid completely stoked, but my inner foodie was pleasantly surprised too.


I guess my instincts as a kid were right -- I was being deprived of some pretty awesome experiences by living in a place that never snows. But even as an adult, snow days are pretty awesome... especially if you have a fun-loving puppy who is equally excited about all the snow!


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Snow Cream
Adapted from Paula Deen

Yield: 6 servings

10 cups fresh, clean snow*
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla vanilla extract
whole milk, for desired consistency

Measure snow into a work bowl, making sure to loosely pack the snow as you measure. Pour sweetened condensed milk and vanilla over the snow. Using a spatula, fold the mixture until combined. The snow will lose a lot of volume. Once incorporated, add splashes of whole milk until your snow cream reaches the desired consistency (I used about a 1/4 cup).

Serve immediately with desired toppings.


*To ensure that you get clean snow, place a large bowl outside to collect the flakes before snowfall begins.

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