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Bonnie Aeschliman: Create warm memories with snow ice cream

  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at 11:13 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at 11:52 p.m.

One reader’s question caught me off-guard. She posed a question about something I had not thought about in decades. With a good 14 inches of snow blanketing most of Kansas and more on the way, her question was, “Do you have any recipes for snow ice cream?”

A recipe for snow ice cream? As I pondered the question, I thought I have never seen a recipe for it in any of my upscale food magazines, nor had I heard it discussed in any conversation with my foodie friends. I had not even thought about snow ice cream in years. But I do vividly remember stirring it up from my early years on the farm.

It seemed the major snowstorms hit Missouri in February and March.

To children, a huge snowfall was exciting. Buses were unable to run the school routes on the hilly rural roads. So a major storm meant school would be cancelled and we children would have a play day.

After the first gleeful hours of sledding down the big hill behind the barn, making snow angels and snowmen and ultimately ending up having a snowball fight, my siblings and I would head to the house with red noses, frozen gloves and cold toes to talk mom into making snow ice cream. My mom was one of those very squeaky-clean cooks. We knew we had to have a really deep snow that was clean enough, according to her standards, or she would say it was not fit to use.

Is snow ice cream a lost tradition? I hope not. That’s why I decided to write about it today. While it will never win any culinary awards, it is a miraculous treat to see snow turn into ice cream. Children of all ages will marvel at its simplicity. If you are looking to entertain children on a snowy day, make snow ice cream. Your children will have a great memory of the February snow that swept across Kansas. It will elicit happy smiles and keep an old tradition alive.

Now, to answer the reader’s question: Do I have any recipes for making snow ice cream? To my way of thinking, you don’t need a recipe. It is more of a process. Let me share the Ozark tradition by telling you how to make it.

First, you get yourself some really clean snow. (Go where no animal has visited.) Scrap off the top layer so you know you are getting really clean snow. Scoop a big batch of snow up in a large bowl. Then you take it to the kitchen and stir in enough cream to make it like ice cream. Sweeten it with a little sugar and stir in some vanilla. And you’ve got to eat it right away. It won’t keep long.

Now, if you want chocolate snow ice cream, stir a little chocolate syrup into it. For strawberry, you can stir in some crushed berries or some really good strawberry jam.

Be sure to eat it slowly. You don’t want to get a brain freeze.

And that’s how we did it on the farm in the Ozarks.

Bonnie Aeschliman is a certified culinary professional who owns Cooking at Bonnie’s Place in Wichita. For more information, call 316-425-5224 or visit cookingatbonnies.com. To submit a question to Bonnie, e-mail her at bonnie@cookingatbonnies.com.

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