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Recipe For Snow Ice Cream
Famous Midwestern Blizzards and a Recipe
Snow ice cream was recommended by friends one April evening as we experienced an unexpected blizzard in Ohio. It was a one-day snow storm that dumped clean, white snow on the city after a previous day of temperatures in the 60s F. The drifting made enough material for ice cream.
The next afternoon, the temperature climbed to 65° and the snow melted quickly, but we had made ice cream and stayed home in the snow because many of the city streets were closed for a day, as were schools and businesses.
Snow in the 2010s might contain too many additives in the form of pollutants for us to enjoy snow ice cream in the big cities of America, but in the 1980s, we felt safe to try the concoction.
In 1985, we had a one-day snowfall in Central Ohio of about three inches in April that provided enough material for ice cream for a few hours. The next day, it was all melted by noon!— Patty Inglish
A decade earlier, during The Great Blizzard of 1978 that literally snowed us into our homes for a month, we could have put the various ice cream recipes to constant use.
January 25, 26, and 27 were the worst days of the blizzard in Ohio and all around the Great Lakes Area.
The US National Guard stated that the storm was nearly equivalent to a nuclear attack in its impact upon the state.
The winter of 1978 was great for this recipe, but we found it useful in the blizzards of January 2018 as well!
Recipes for Vanilla and Peach Snow Ice Cream
The traditional Southern and Midwestern recipe that calls for only three ingredients - snow, vanilla, and condensed milk - results in a too icy, melty, and weak concoction for my taste, so a little experimentation resulted in the following recipe. It's richer overall, and more solid.
- A large metal mixing bowl and a wooden spoon
- 2 Whole large eggs
- 2 Cups heavy cream
- 1.5 Cups granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons pure vanilla
- Clean fresh snow
I like to chill the metal bowl first in the freezer and then make the ice cream outside to keep the bowl cold and the snow from melting. In fact, it's great to put the bowl down into a mound of snow to hold it still. COLD!
- Break and beat the eggs briskly in the bowl.
- Pour in the cream, sugar and vanilla all at once.
- Stir together and begin adding the cleanest white snow until the ice cream is thick enough for you.
- Serve and place the rest in the freezer immediately, because of the raw eggs.
- Use up the ice cream within 24 hours to prevent egg spoilage. It should be all right in the freezer, unless you take it out and let it sit at room temperature. If that happens, throw it out. Heavy cream can be expensive, so take care of the finished product.
Have you ever made ice cream with snow?
Add Some Individual Favorites
Add Peaches to the Ice Cream
Before making the ice cream, remove a cup of frozen peach slices from a bag of frozen peaches you have purchased at the supermarket. Set them on the kitchen counter to thaw and as they begin to soften, chop them into bite-sized pieces. Canned peaches are often soft and do not work as well.
Prepare the vanilla ice cream recipe as given above and add the chopped peaches at the last minutes. It is fine if they are still partially frozen. Mix gently and serve the ice cream.
Add Some Coconut
Peaches and coconut are good together in this recipe. Use about half a cup of shredded coconut or a little more, if you like. Mix it into the ice cream when you add the chopped, partially frozen peaches.
You Might Like Chocolate
While I've had no luck with chocolate syrup, which seems to disintegrate the snow ice cream, chunking up fudge brownies and adding them to the vanilla recipe at the end seems to work fine. A squeeze bottle of chocolate shell that hardens on contact with ice cream would also probably work well.
Plus, if it's summertime, you can used shaved ice instead of snow.
Enjoy! - Please list your ideas in the Comments Section.
Buried Alive in the City
I remember that the front door to the house would only open about three inches.
We had to stick a broom out the opening and brush away snow that had piled up over four-and-a-half feet deep against the door.
A day previously, Wednesday, January 24, the weather was mild and warm. It began to rain that evening and the temperature dropped. On Thursday January 25, many of us were nearly trapped in our dwellings and the streets were impassable.
Heavy accumulating snow remained with us for nearly two months and the majority of Columbus residents missed at least a full week of work or school. When we could get outside, we walked down the center of the streets, snow and ice being a few feet high on the sidewalks.
In Cleveland, conditions were worse and in northwest Pennsylvania, worse yet.
Dangerous Conditions Of Power Outage and Stranding
Everything in Columbus was closed down the first week, except hospitals, fire stations, and law enforcement facilities. A very few restaurants opened and gave free coffee to anyone that was out, especially snow removal operators. It was so cold that restaurant staff worked in their coats.
Snow fell throughout January 26-27 and the temperatures stayed relatively cold throughout February. AAA stopped taking calls for cars that refused to start early on January 25. I remember drivers complaining for over a week that AAA operators told them that it was not an emergency that their cars would not start.
No one at AAA explained that dozens of National Guard helicopters were out looking for lost and stranded people who might die and that all the AAA trucks were out helping plow streets and dig people out of houses where the power had gone out.
Throughout all the harsh weather conditions, older folks remembered snow ice cream from their childhoods and taught the young people how to make it.
Hard-Hit Ohio Cities
Many people were stranded on the roads and highways of the state during these days of 1978 - 1979, but the weather was worst around the Greater Cleveland Area. There, barometric pressure reduced to 28.28, the record non-tropical low for America until October of 2010.
For Canada, Southern Ontario received barometric pressure even lower, at 28.05. The Ohio National Guard mobilized 5,000 troops to help around Ohio, but 51 persons still died in the snow.
Another problem spot was, and still is, the I-70 and Route 40 corridor between Columbus and Springfield 40+ miles to the west.
This is in a low point in the Ohio Valley and is subject to fog and drifting snows. Even in non-blizzard years, this mostly rural area can be hazardous in snowfall to people traveling on foot through fields. Otherwise, it is great for snowmobiling.
- 1978 Ohio Statewide Blizzard - Ohio History Central. www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/1978_Ohio_Statewide_Blizzard Retrieved January 16, 2017.
- Adjutant General of Ohio and Ohio National Guard. Blizzard '78 After Action Report; pp 1 - 42. 1978
- Dean, L. The long, hungry winter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Star Tribune; February 10, 2014.
© 2011 Patty Inglish