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Snow Zone Treat

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Rejoice! The swath of snow storms that is making life miserable in other parts of the country is joyfully greeted in the parched High Plains of Colorado by those whose livelihoods are dependent on spring's verdant land.

Living where the average yearly moisture amounts to 13 inches, I tend to greet snow flakes like a visit from Elvis. The rarity of days-on-end of winter storms in these parts is also cause for personal celebration, for with the freezing temperature is the opportunity to wear my inheritance -- Mama's mink.

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Unlike when my snow euphoria was child-oriented with snowmen and cups of cocoa and globs of gooey marshmallows, in my sons' adult absence, I focus on the aspects of snow that are personally pleasing: shoveling the sidewalk and eating snow ice cream.

Clearing a pathway is actually one of my favorite activities because it's a very zen, easily obtainable goal and results in bringing pleasure to others, especially the newspaper and mail delivery folks.

The steady snowfall that requires multiple shoveling also fills a large bowl with freshly falling flakes, the main ingredient for snow ice cream. Never mind that it's drifted through an atmosphere rife with pollutants, as long as it's not yellow, I'm good with it. The very rarity of snow makes the treat so special.

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A basic snow ice cream recipe is a simple stirring together of snow, sugar, vanilla extract and milk. For a creamier, richer taste, replace the sugar and milk with sweetened condensed milk. Substituting Kahlua for the milk (and sugar) makes an adult version. Whatever is added to the mix, the savoring must be immediate, for this treat turns to mush in a blink.

Snow falling all around, on the trees and on the ground is poetry and purpose, with a cherry on top.