It’s that time of year again when Monday holiday sales become a festive event to break the tedium of cabin fever. I even ventured up to the mall this morning to beat the snow and noticed how it was already filling up with stir crazy school kids (parents in tow) on their day off.
I started thinking about President’s Days past from my childhood. Actually, there wasn’t such a thing yet. We acknowledged George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd and Abe Lincoln’s on February 12th. I liked celebrating two separate birthdays back then but I guess it made more economic and political sense to roll it all into one three day weekend and pay tribute to unsung presidents like James Polk and Millard Fillmore.
So what did we do to honor our founding fathers? It all depended on the weather. Sometimes we’d go to a museum or a movie and sometimes we went ice skating and had snowball fights. On Washington’s birthday, we always baked a cherry pie and
(if it was a really wintery day like today) we’d serve it with SNOW ICE CREAM.
Snow ice cream is a very ephemeral dessert. It’s only available on certain days of the year and it doesn’t last very long while you are making it so you have to eat it really fast. That’s what makes it all the more alluring to children. It’s so easy to whip up and can be adapted to dietary needs. For example, you can substitute honey for sugar. Lactose problems? Almond milk can be used in place of milk or cream. (In fact, if you do that and use “sweetened vanilla” you can just mix it with snow and you are done!) Just remember to tell the kids that the most important ingredient is CLEAN snow!
Here’s how mom did it: For two kids she’d mix 1/2 cup of light cream or half and half with 2 tsps of vanilla extract and 2 Tbs of sugar.
Then we’d mix it with 4-5 cups of snow (depending on if it was wet or dry snow).
Remember this can be made with a lot less fat if you use milk or dairy free altogether if you try almond milk.
For most of us, I’m not sure snow ice cream comes to mind when thinking of “All American” or patriotic desserts but it is symbolic of a season that would seem endless if we weren’t distracted by ground hog shadows, chocolate hearts and presidents.