When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you snow, make snow ice cream!
I have been wanting to make snow ice cream all winter, and today, I finally did it! Both of my parents said their moms would make snow ice cream for them and their siblings on snowy Iowa winter days. My Aunt Carolyn said my Grandma Foust mixed milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla into the snow. My Grandma Tilton likely used a similar recipe. I didn't want to use raw eggs, so I asked around and found several suggestions. One friend said she uses just snow and as much sweetened condensed milk as needed. Another said her recipe calls for 4 cups of snow, 1 cup of milk or cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I combined the two for my first attempt, and it worked out well!
Keep in mind making this really isn't a science. You have to adjust your ingredients based on how your ice cream tastes, and the consistency you want.
First, you need a big bowl of clean, freshly fallen snow. We had a bunch of unexpected snow this morning (it's still falling!), so my boys got out of school early. Perfect! Luke and Will went outside with a big mixing bowl and a measuring cup after lunch, and filled the bowl with snow. They assured me it was clean. I took their word for it.
I gave the ice cream a good stir with a big "granny fork" to get the frozen bits smoothed out. Then, I dumped in a can of sweetened condensed milk and gave that a good stir. We needed a little more liquid, so I added about a teaspoon of vanilla to about a cup of milk, and added it. I gave everything a good stir, the boys and I tasted it, and we decided it was just right! It tasted just like old-fashioned homemade ice cream! You really just have to go for it and add as much liquid as you think you need. After you stir it around, if it's too dry, add more liquid. If it's too wet, add more snow! I suppose the quantities would also vary depending on what kind of snow you have. Today's snow is wet and heavy.
We ate all of our ice cream right up, so I'm not sure how it would taste if you put leftovers in the freezer for later. I would probably suggest just making batches to eat as snow is available. That kind of makes it more special anyway!
I served the snow ice cream in the sundae dishes from The Morning Glory Cafe, which my Grandma and Grandpa Tilton owned when my mom was little. I am so lucky to have these dishes. I had mine with a few vanilla wafers, because one of my favorite treats when I would go to my Grandma Foust's house (other than her snickerdoodles) was vanilla ice cream with vanilla wafers. It was nice to make a treat for my boys using these memories from my grandmothers. Maybe someday they'll tell their kids and grandkids about how their mom used to make them snow ice cream when they were boys!