How to Make Snow Ice Cream

Most of the country seems to be experiencing cold and wild weather conditions this week and our neck of the woods is no exception. We live just under 4,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. We certainly do get snow, but rarely have more than a couple of feet on the ground at any one time.

I’m one of those strange people who, providing that everyone is prepared and safe and sheltered, just LOVES a good storm. Not the ‘damage-causing, life-threatening’ kind. . .the ‘safe at home and watching it through the window whilst sitting by a fire and sipping cocoa’ kind.

snowy dayI love unexpected snow days when schools are closed. I love our tradition of making snow ice cream from the first real snowfall (and several times more through the winter!). I don’t even mind if the electricity goes out. . .I have candles, flash lights and a million oil lamps. We have a generator, too, if we need to make sure the fridge and freezers stay cold.

I even enjoy cooking on my hybrid wood stove (primarily for heat, but has surfaces to cook on if need be). It makes me feel all Laura Ingalls Wildery. 🙂

But I do realize that the odds of the entire nation being safe and snug at home, with stockpiles of food and wood and love, are not entirely high.

So please be safe, my friends. Don’t travel if you don’t have to. Make sure you have batteries and water and whatever else you might need. And keep an eye on those around you who may not be as mobile or well prepared. If all that is sorted, though, and you’re snug at home with snow on the ground . . . try your hand at some snow ice cream!! Here’s one of our MANY family recipes:


  • 2 Cups Milk or Half n Half
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla (the real thing is best!!)
  • 10-12 Cups of CLEAN SNOW, not packed, just scooped up

Method: In a large mixing bowl, combine milk/half n half, sugar and vanilla. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely. Don’t get your snow until the sugar is dissolved.

snow ice creamOnce it is, go outside and gather fresh, clean snow. . .about 10-12 cups. Did I mention that it needs to be clean?  Kind of an important point.

All snow is different, so I always get a little extra just in case. Don’t pack it in, though. . .just scoop it up. If your snow isn’t terrifically deep, using a spatula makes your gathering a little more precise.

Head back inside and start adding spoonfuls of your clean snow into your milk mixture, stirring constantly, until your ice cream is the texture and consistency you are after.

All that you need to do then is eat it up!  (preferably whilst sitting near a roaring fire!)

Enjoy! 🙂

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