There’s that old saying: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
But what about when life hands you repeated snowstorms?
A few snow days can lead to some fun and creative kitchen projects, if you have the forethought to put a bowl out at the start of the storm to collect some clean snow.
(Be more careful with gathering after the fact, to avoid snow contaminated by dirt or anything else.)
Even on the basic side of things, think of the snow as a fun, free substitute for recipes where you’d normally use ice.
“Since we’ve been snow/iced in this week, we’ve used the snow as ice for our White Russians,” says Sarah Funderburk of Atlanta.
It also makes a good mix-in to turn juices into slushies.
Here are 5 more recipes you can make with fresh snow:
Maple Bourbon Snow Cone
Snow would work just as well.
Snow Ice Cream (Version 1)
Barb Muessig of Midland, Mich., started making snow ice cream when her son was young.
Now he’s 17, but he and his friends still make it every year, she says.
“I get the ingredients and a variety of toppings, and they go for it,” she says. “I also post it on my Facebook page every year on our first school snow day.”
To make it, fill a small sealable plastic bag with a half-cup milk, a tablespoon sugar and a quarter-teaspoon of vanilla extract. Remove the air and seal it.
Then fill a large sealable plastic bag halfway with snow, and add one-third cup of salt. Put the small bag inside the large.
Seal, and shake for 10 minutes.
“Watch for the magic,” says Muessig. “It always happens!”
Snow Ice Cream (Version 2)
Instead of making ice cream with snow, Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder of Mavens & Moguls, makes hers from snow.
“It is really easy,” she says. “Just get a big bowl of fresh snow, and add a little milk while you stir until it gets creamy. Then add a splash of vanilla to taste. You can throw fresh fruit or chocolate sauce on top too.”
Eat it all in one sitting, she says—it doesn’t really keep.
Snow Ice Cream (Version 3)
For a slightly sweeter take, there’s this version from Alex Katzen of TheZenKat.com.
“My favorite recipe in the snow is snow cream,” she says. “Grab a bowl of snow and add a half-cup cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and enough milk to make the mixture slushy-like. Slurp and enjoy.”
Sugar on Snow
The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association has a simple candy recipe involving snow.
To prepare it, gather a big bowl of fresh snow. Heat pure maple syrup until slightly bubbly. Pour over the fresh snow and wait until it crystalizes.
(At first, says a spokeswoman, it will have a taffy-like texture. Then it will harden into candy.)
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.