04/24/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Snow Ice Cream a Melting Pleasure

I'm not a snow person, which explains why one of my happiest days was our relocation 29 years ago from a home in the Colorado mountains to the High Plains. More than a change in altitude and attitude, the winter out here is more like Arizona's than Aspen - sunny with rarely a hint of snow.

Living where the average yearly moisture amounts to 13", I greet snow flakes like a visit from Elvis. A hard core fan, last night's snow dump of several inches was akin to a Hunk a Burnin' Love sighting.

Experience has taught me that when it snows in Pueblo, I need to act fast or miss out on snow ice cream - the only thing about snow that I like.

Snow ice cream is such a deliciously simple concoction, it would make sense that it was the brainstorm of a mom stuck in the house with young children and a large dog as winter raged on and on. Surprise (!), this slushy confection was invented by the Chinese over 3,000 years ago as a royal treat for the emperors.

Using snow and ice brought down from the mountains, dynasty cooks mixed in fruit, wine and honey. A basic recipe I've eaten since childhood is a lot simpler, especially the snow-gathering part.

How to Make Snow Ice Cream: Brush aside the top layer of snow and fill a bowl.


Stir together snow, sugar, vanilla extract and milk. For a creamier, richer taste, replace the sugar and milk with sweetened condensed milk. A squirt of chocolate sauce or maraschino cherry are festive touches.


The admonition to only eat of the second snow fall is not without its point, but where a second snow isn't likely, the only caution to which I cater is Don't eat yellow snow.