* Snow Day = Snow Ice Cream *


me: It’s Ask Mrs. Dr. Science Day, children. I am Mrs. Dr. Science and you may ask me any question you like. Yes, little boy in the front row?

Mack: Aw, c’mon Mom, there’s a blizzard going on outside. We’re not really having school today, are we?

me: (cough) I’m sorry, lad, is there a problem with your getting to school today? You know, don’t you, that that is why traditional school kids get out of school on heavy snow days, because . . . hello . . . they can’t get to school.

Mack: Mom. Our “school” is in the living room. Or the sunporch. Or the kitchen. Sometimes out in the yard, Mom. Sometimes even in the car.

me: Mack. Can you, indeed, get to those areas today? Even–dare I suggest it--out to the yard?

Mack: Mommmm . . . !

All Snow photos by my lovely and talented daught, Amalia. :)

All Snow photos by the lovely and talented Amalia. 🙂

me: (clearing throat) I will consider that a “yes.” So. To proceed. It’s Ask Mrs. Dr. Science Day . . . .

Mack: (wailing) Oh nooooo!

me: Okay honey, I’m just messin’ with ya. Wanna make snow ice cream?

Mack: (huge inhalation of relief) Yes—–!! Thanks, Mom! And can we play Monopoly?

me: Absolutely. Counting on it.

We had a snow day earlier this week. We were supposed to have a humongous blizzard. The various weathermen had succeeded in getting everybody and their respective dogs to the store for a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, and a bag of citrus, and we anticipated this wonderful storm for days.

Such was my excitement at the prospect of a day shut in with my dear ones, with the wind wailing outside and the wood fires crackling inside, that I woke in great excitement at 5:30 when the electricity went out. Alas, I was the only inhabitant of our domicile up at that hour, and I realized in dismay how many crucial chores I had not done the day before.

For example, with no electricity we have no water, and I hadn’t filled a few gallons of water the day before. It had just been so long since we’d had a bonafide blizzard, sadly. I was out of practice!

So at 5:30, I was scrambling around our very dark, very quiet house, searching for candles and matches and feeling very thirsty, indeed. I did find a gallon of distilled water in the dark pseudo-kitchen, and poured myself a glass (amazing how thirsty you can become, if you have the prospect of not having fresh water for the day). I lit the wood fires (after I found the matches) and lit some candles (after I found some candles) (all the way down in Bryan’s shop) and then went back to bed, snuggling down into the flannel sheets and reading by candlelight for a bit.

Such a romantic picture certainly could have ended sadly if I had fallen asleep and the candles would have lit my bed on fire. But I didn’t, and they didn’t and so a romantic picture it can remain. I picked up my current reading crush: E.B. White. I’ve been reading his Essays for months now. But it’s a slow read for me. I will read a couple of essays, savoring them slowly and chewing over the words and the thoughts, and then putting them down again.

I don’t want to finish this book, I love it so much. So I’m making it last.


He writes things like this:

“. . . whatever light is generated, whatever excitement, whatever beauty, must come from original sources–from internal fires of professional hunger and delight, from the exuberance and gravity of youth. It is the difference between planetary light and the combustion of stars.”

Also this:

“It has been ambitious and plucky of me to attempt to describe what is indescribable, and I have failed, as I knew I would. But I have discharged my duty to my society; and besides, a writer, like an acrobat, must occasionally try a stunt that is too much for him . . .

And . . .
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
One more:

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

When I woke up later, I was full of snow day plans. The wind was roaring outside, and all the windows were coated with snow. It was the stickiest snow ever: when the wind blew it up against the windows, it stuck. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make breakfast, but I had a pot of water heating on the wood stove for coffee, and Mack and I had already discussed Monopoly, and Amalia and I had already discussed Mansfield Park, when the lights went back on.
Boo. I actually felt disappointed. But we still had a fun day, make no mistake. As soon as there was enough snow on the ground to manage it, Mack and I made snow ice cream. Have you ever made it? It’s the easiest thing ever, and only requires three ingredients. This is my sister Mollie’s recipe, by the way.
Here’s how to make Snow Ice Cream:
  1. Gather up two ice cream buckets’ worth of fresh (fresh!) snow.
  2. Put the snow into a very large bowl.
  3. Add one can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 tsp vanilla, and stir.
  4. Add a swoosh of milk, if necessary, for creaminess.
  5. Put back into an ice cream bucket, put on the lid, and stick into a snow bank to cure, if you wanna, or just eat right away!
  6. If you get bored with vanilla, add cinnamon and other spices, almond extract, cocoa powder, or whatever you like. 🙂 It’s a free country.
  7. Watch out! Snow ice cream seems to be quite adept at causing Brain Freeze. Ouch! Not to mention: addicting!


I wouldn’t mind another snow day like that one. One per week, until spring, would suit me just fine. 🙂


Thanks for popping in, my Gentle Reader. STAY WARM!

I love ya, I really do.




14 thoughts on “* Snow Day = Snow Ice Cream *

  1. Kay

    We awoke to the power going out also and I, too, forgot to fill a 5-gal bucket of “flushing” water, so I laid there snuggled up and warm but worried about my lack of planning and wondered if we would have to drag out the generator to run the well to water the cattle and would we have to start the kerosene heater and take turns staying awake so the other wouldn’t die of carbon monoxide poisoning, etc..etc..etc…So thankful shortly after we got up the power came on! Wondered from snow-coated window to window wondering what was going on outside. Cattle were fine. It was not too cold said BEF and was just a typical blizzard. He watched movies and day-time TV. I made Runzas and worked on taxes and did some work at home for the office. We were snow-bound for 2 days as we didn’t travel until after the interstate and highways were open. I didn’t get to reread Narnia like I planned but there is still lots of winter yet to go. 🙂

  2. gene gage

    Ya know, Amy, you and your reminisces are forever making (enabling?) me to return instantly to my own childhood/adolescence – mostly with great pleasure. Today’s posting for example. Snow ice cream was definitely one of the pleasures of blizzards – or even just heavy snowfalls – on our farm in western Nebraska in the 1940s. In our case, my mom was able to use fresh heavy cream since my dad milked 16-20 cows a day. And I think that was the only difference between her recipe and yours, but she must have added a little white sugar or honey, since the resulting product was definitely sweet. We did not have a refrigerator, so that was probably the only time we got ice cream except for visits to Grandpa in the “big city” of McCook, who took us across the street from the small apartment he lived in then to the drugstore across the street. I do not believe that the words “snow ice cream” have crossed my mind in the intervening 65 years, and certainly I have never made it. Thanks!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      WELL then Gene, better get your rear in gear while the snow is fresh(ish) and make some! You really gave me pause at “fresh cream” though. That sounds amazing. I’d like to hear more about the “drugstore across the street” in McCook. And did you know that my Grandpa was a dairy farmer (near Beatrice)?

  3. Sandy KS

    I want to make snow cream. But snow has not fallen enough for anyone to make in in my area this year. Which is kinda of sad. As we are used to getting tons of snow.

  4. Chef William

    A snow day with snow ice-cream. Of course you wait until I am living in Mexico to tell me about snow ice-cream.The idea tugs at my heart, should I return to Wisconsin to live out my years eating different flavors of snow ice cream for three months a year or…………….should I wait about another month and go back to making mango ice cream by the gallon and taking to share with the family at the farm and the children that also show up when we show up with food to eat that are not beans. decisions, decisions………I need to think on this for a while…

  5. Alana

    The bad thing about growing up in a big city is that you would not dare to make snow ice cream – unless you wanted it – um, kind of chunky. I’ve only had it a couple of times. Lucky Mack! And guess what, everyone needs to know about snow ice cream, so you have made it into my blog roundup (favorite posts) for this Saturday. Enjoy (the ice cream, that is).

  6. Lucy

    “Memories….misty watercolored memories….of Snow Ice Cream.”

    Amy, I green up in Pa. and my mom made it with just milk, vanilla and sugar….loved it!

    Where I live now (Kingman Az, desert) it hardly ever even “thinks” about snowing……no snow means…..SNIFF…..no snow ice cream!!!!! Whaaaa……..reguardless, lovely post as usual Lambkins.

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