Snow Ice Cream
 

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Serves 1, as generously as you'd like, and easily multiplied

As a child growing up on the East Coast, one predictable winter pleasure was snow ice cream. You'd go outside during, or just after, a fresh, heavy snowfall, scoop up a bowl of snow, drizzle heavy cream on it, stir in vanilla and white sugar, and quickly eat it. It was icy cold (though the snow had to be not icy but light and fluffy-textured) and the ingredients amalgamated together instantly and oh, so deliciously.

One snowbound day this winter, which for us in Northwest Arkansas as for most of the country, has had an amount of heavy snow, I was searching for something with which to pleasure myself in the here-and-now of a grey, overcast, isolated, long winter afternoon, fast coming on to night. I remembered the snow ice creams of my childhood, and with that suddenly the snow which lay around the cottage, deep, silent, mysterious, isolating, began to beckon to me, not merely to look at it as a beautiful, remote, and slightly threatening phenomenon, but to get into it.

Snow Ice Cream was one of the earliest things I "cooked", and ate with rapt joy. I hadn't thought of it, let alone tasted it, in years. Would it still be as good? Could it be made in accord with the way I ate now? I am happy to report it not only could be but was --- in fact, even better. Far more delicious and flavorful (with maple syrup replacing the white sugar, well, right there you've got a big-time flavor boost; you've got a taste, not just sweetness), this present-day Snow Ice Cream is also vegan and low-fat. Since it is all custom-mixed to taste, quantities are just not possible. Assemble everything and go at it; be prepared to go back for seconds (fortunately, if there's enough to make one bowlful, there's probably plenty of snow out there). Make it soon for someone you love. I hope that begins with your gorgeous, lovable self.

 Ingredients:

Fresh, clean, soft, fluffy snow

Vanilla soy milk, such as White Wave's Vanilla Soy Silk (available in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets)

Pure vanilla extract

Pure maple syrup

Directions:

1. Go outside with a large soup-bowl. Scoop it full, if not slightly overfull, with nice virginal snow. Take a deep breath. Look around. Shiver. Appreciate the cold white wet big world.

2. Run back inside. Add a good pour of vanilla soy milk, a tiny bit of vanilla, and a healthy but not overly generous drizzle of maple syrup.

3. Stir well, quickly, with a spoon. The snow should almost immediately be incorporated into the liquid, making an ice-creamy / sorbet-ish confection. If it doesn't, or if you taste it and it's not absolutely perfect, add any one of the four ingredients until it's just right. Sit down, eat it up, possibly do it all again, and celebrate life!
 

P.S. Want some recipes for "real" ice cream? Check pages 1043 to 1045 of PASSIONATE VEGETARIAN --- you'll find a gorgeous creamy Burnt Sugar Ice Cream plus the incredibly refreshing Jay's Buttermilk Ice Cream.. perfect for lazy summer days. Try the former with anything chocolate, the latter piled high with sliced fresh strawberries and peaches. Mmmmm!

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