When my sister and I were growing up on our grandmother’s farm in Missouri, the winters could be daunting. Not only cold, but icy cold, because of the high humidity. My sister and I would be bundled up like little wobbly dolls barely able to walk to go out and play in the snow. It was a magical time when we were small children and the snowflakes coming down were as big as a nickel – and we were opening our mouths and spinning around trying to catch the snow on our tongues.
Sometimes our grandmother, Clementine, would step out the back door of the old farmhouse and hand us a large bowl and point out an area of snow that was untouched by humans or animals. She would tell us to go to that spot, fill the bowl with snow and she would make snow ice cream. We would bring the bowl inside and she would have all the ingredients ready and waiting to make the ice cream. While we were outside playing in the snow, she had built a fire in the kitchen stove and placed two chairs in front of the oven with the oven door open. After we had taken off our boots, coats, hats, mittens, and scarves, she would sit us down on the chairs in front of the oven and rub our feet and hands to help warm us.
And what about ice cream? Well, our grandmother had quickly folded all the prepared ingredients into the snow and put it briefly outside while we were getting settled by the warm stove. Then came the bowl of snow ice cream, which she generously dished out in big mugs, one for each of us. There we were, sitting in front of the warm stove and eating snow ice cream.
The colder weather is upon us, and we have begun to bundle up to step outside. Unlike the summer when our doors and windows are open, now our doors and windows are closed. We are turning more to the inside of living. Building fires, preparing for the winter holidays, making warm nourishing soups, or taking time to pursue our hobbies. Perhaps winter is a good time to learn something new, or a time when we can concentrate on creating something new. Like the bear we are experiencing our own kind of hibernation. We are still going out and about, but always look forward to being warm and cozy when we are tucked in our homes.
Winter seems to me to be a quieter time because of the feeling of being inside more than outside. This gives me an opportunity to slow down from yard work, gardening, and everything that spring and summer bring to the table. Winter is a good time to find a cozy chair, a good book and a warm cup of tea. Winter is a good time to be inward, not only in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense as well.
Here’s to creating a warm, wonderful, and memorable winter tucked inside.
SNOW ICE CREAM
It’s a good idea to put a large bowl in the freezer ahead of time for the best results. When you are ready to make your ice cream, mix the sugar, cream and vanilla in another bowl. When these ingredients are mixed, take the bowl from the freezer and fill it with at least 3 cups of snow. Gently fold the cream mixture into the snow and serve.
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 cups of snow