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Mix up a batch of snow cream during winter storm
Milk, sugar, vanilla and snow are the ingredients needed to make snow cream. - photo by Michelle Boaen Jameson

Snow Cream

3 cups loose clean snow

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients, taste, add more to taste.

Note: Do not worry about making a run to the grocery story, if you’re out of milk. Just mix in some fruit juice or purees to make snow sorbet.

Snowfall in Georgia is a rare treat and not just because it promises a fun snow day. Snow provides the key ingredient for an old-fashioned snow cream.

John Lee, manager of Mountain Fresh Creamery in Cleveland, said he remembers his mother making the treat for him as a child.

“I just always remember going out and getting the snow,” Lee said. “It seemed like she used a little vanilla and a little sugar. I remember the vanilla specifically. Of course, it doesn’t happen often for us, I’ve lived in Georgia all my life.”

Because it doesn’t snow often, some families take measures to ensure they’re able to enjoy the treat whenever they’d like.

Britney Atwater, of Gainesville, said she remembers her father making a years-worth of snow cream in the blizzard of 1993.

“My dad got a big bucket and filled it up with snow and we had a deep freezer,” Atwater said. “We used to cut up strawberries and put it on top, too.”

Atwater said it was a “great memory” and one she intends to recreate with her own child during this storm.

While snow cream is easy to make and tasty, just mix snow with sugar, vanilla and milk, some common sense is required to make sure the treat is safe to eat.

Hall County Cooperative Extension Coordinator Michael Wheeler said generally speaking snow is safe to eat.

“As snow falls, it’s pretty much just distilled water,” Wheeler said. “As long as it hits a clean surface, it’s going to be safe. A lot of times folks can put out a big mixing bowl to collect the snow. Anything that’s not discolored or has leaves or dirt in it is going to be safe.”

Wheeler said people shouldn’t dig too deeply into the snow if they’re collecting it from the ground but only collect the top most layer of snow. Snow near roads, drainpipes and cars also shouldn’t be collected because it could be contaminated.

Families can break from the traditional ingredients if they like and spruce up their snow cream treat by adding slivers of fresh fruits or substituting milk or half and half with fruit juice and purees to make a snow sorbet. It’s OK to be creative with your snow cream treats, it’s a snow day.

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