We Made Snow Ice Cream (Yes, Really)

Last week, we experienced one of the larger snow storms we’ve had since moving to Springfield seven years ago. While it was still fairly modest in our area (coming in at around eight to nine inches total over a few days), we took the opportunity to stay home and observe the snow from the comfort of our apartment. However, a suggestion put forth by our local meteorologist Abby Dyer caught our attention: make snow ice cream. When we first heard her say this sentence, we figured she must be joking. But, once the recipe hit the screen, we knew we had to give it a shot.

So what is snow ice cream, exactly? Well, it starts by collecting half a gallon of fresh snow. Obviously, you’ll want to be cautious in your sourcing to ensure it’s clean. In our case, we looked to our deck, where enough accumulation allowed us to scoop off of the top without coming close to the wood planks below.

Once you’ve collected your snow, the next step is to grab one can of evaporated milk. Sidenote: as someone who doesn’t do much cooking or baking, evaporated milk has always struck me as being one of the most confusing names for a product – is the can just empty? Dad jokes aside, you’ll also need one cup of sugar to sweeten things up. Lastly, you’ll also add no more than one teaspoon of vanilla extract for flavor.

With these ingredients in the bowl, it’s just a matter of mixing it all up. My wife says she started by whisking the evaporated milk, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl and then stirring the mix into the snow bowl a bit at a time. Once everything was added, she continued to stir until she got the consistency she was seeking. Then, once you’re done, just scoop the finished product into a bowl and serve. While we didn’t bother adding any extra toppings, I imagine they’d actually work pretty well if you did.

The first thing that surprised us with our batch of snow ice cream was the consistency. While it wasn’t as smooth as real ice cream, it was also far from the Sno Cone-esque texture I was fearing. Next, I was also fairly impressed with the flavor, which was refreshingly creamy and rich (all things considered). That said, it also wasn’t the best ice cream I’ve ever had and the icy elements did become more obvious as I continued to eat.

Now for the question I’m sure you’re wondering: what does this have to do with personal finance? Well, I suppose that if you’re looking for a thrifty treat, then you can save a trip to the story and rely on mother nature instead. However, I think that this would actually be a great, fun snow day activity for families with kids — and, yes, still might save you a bit of money. Nevertheless, childless 36-year-old me still enjoyed our snow ice cream experiment and will look forward to our next serving… whenever that might be.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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