It shouldn't surprise anyone that even snow cream is part of the changing face of American life.
Or is it?
When we were kids, the only important thing was making sure you had milk and sugar and a fairly clean source of snow. Clean to us meant no 'yellow' snow.
We looked for places like this where we didn't think a dog could reach.
Once we had a bowl of snow, we ran inside, added some milk and sugar and mixed. If my mom was home, we added some vanilla too. It was great do-it-yourself ice cream.
I read today that people are whipping the snow now and adding lemon rind and peach juice. It didn't sound right to me.
I checked back into history to see how our sturdy ancestors ate their snow cream. Surprisingly, there's no mention of it until the middle 1800s when an American cookbook had a recipe for snow cream. It had rosewater in it, according to that recipe. Sometimes, they even mentioned the root of mallow being added.
I grew up around the Chicago area where we had snow cream until we got sick of it. Today, I live in North Carolina where we only get snow every other year or so. Snow cream is highly prized here and something everyone looks forward to.
A friend of mine called and asked if I had any vanilla for snow cream right after our barely one inch snowfall over the weekend. I didn't but I did have concentrated orange juice. Though it went against my principles to eat orange snow cream, it was pretty good.
Nothing like I remember eating as a kid, but few things are.
So in case you missed this treat, here is my recipe for snow cream.
One bowl of clean snow. Try to get it while it's snowing or right after. Add one cup of milk and 1/2 cup of sugar (unless your mom isn't around, then dump in a cup). You can also use Splenda or another sweetener. Add about a teaspoon of flavoring. Vanilla is a little bland. Chocolate syrup might be better. Concentrated orange juice was good too.
Mix. Eat. Enjoy!
By J.J. Cook
The first book in a new series set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Release date: April 2, 2013