24 December 2008
It is Christmas Eve and the ground is blanketed in white. I woke up this morning to find it snowing again with another 4 inches or so of new snow on the ground. I smiled. This was what I had been hoping for since I looked through my Family Cookbook yesterday and saw the recipe for Snow Cream.
Snow Cream is a treat I have treasured since I was a child. It is made with that one magic ingredient that could be hard to come by during winters in Kentucky - snow! It was one of the first things I thought of when snowflakes did begin to fall. Even then the conditions had to be just right. It had to be at least the second snowfall of the year. It had to be the right kind of snow, soft and fluffy. Eagerly as I watched the snow fall I would ask my mother or aunt if we could make Snow Cream. I was thrilled when the answer was yes.
I don't remember actually making Snow Cream since I was a little girl. Over the years I forgot the recipe and the taste and texture of that dreamy soft cold vanilla custard receded to the vague corners of my mind. Then, one day when I was looking through some old papers, I came across a note in my mother's own handwriting.
In bright playful letters it was titled "Snow Cream." It listed 4 simple ingredients and then ended with the direction to "Add Snow." After all these years, and everything that has happened, there it was again, a recipe for magic, as singular and fine as any memory of catching a snowflake on my tongue. I was delighted with my discovery!
More years have passed without the opportunity to recreate this delicious memory in real life. Memory and opportunity have failed to intersect until today. And what could be more perfect than following my childhood memories to a sweet conclusion on the morning of Christmas Eve. I got out of bed determined to make it happen.
First, my husband and I grabbed a stainless steel bowl and harvested a quantity of fresh snow.
In the kitchen we beat together 2 eggs (Eggbeaters actually), 1/2 cup of sugar, a teaspoon or two of vanilla and 1/2 cup of milk. Then we mixed in enough fresh snow to thicken the mixture to the right creamy consistency, much like that of fresh homemade ice cream.
I was amazed at how I remembered the smell and the texture as we finished stirring it together; I knew it was right! And the taste was simply divine; sweet, creamy a sort of cross between sorbet and gelato, a strong memory and a wonderful treat.
After scooping up bowls full we stored the remainder of our Snow Cream on the snow in the window box just outside my kitchen window.
There it helped to frame a wonderful view of this white Christmas snowscape.
Merry Christmas to all!