There's snow across much of the country this weekend. In eastern North Carolina, where it doesn't snow a lot, snowflakes are an occasion for some folks to flock outside, scooping up what falls to make "snow cream."
That's ice cream made from fresh snow — but you have to mix it fast, before it melts.
Chloe Tuttle runs a bed and breakfast in Williamston, N.C., and she's a bit of an expert on snow cream. She tells Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon the trick is to use soft, freshly fallen snow.
"With that you mix heavy cream, sugar and vanilla and stir it until it's soft," Tuttle says. "It tastes like homemade ice cream, but very special because you can only get it once a year."
You can make your own batch of snow cream this year using the recipe below. It doesn't necessarily have to be snow from the country, but just be sure that it is fresh and clean.
Snow Cream Recipe
Directions: "Stir until it's soft," Chloe Tuttle says.
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1 bowl of light, clean snow (6-8 cups)
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Now, from the strange but savory to something sweet. There's snow across much of the country this weekend. In eastern North Carolina, where it doesn't snow a lot, snowflakes are an occasion for some folks to flock outside to scoop up what falls and make snow cream - cream, sugar, and fresh snow. But you got to mix it fast before it melts. Chloe Tuttle runs a bed and breakfast in Williamston, North Carolina. She's considered a bit of an expert on Snow Cream. Thanks for joining us.
CHLOE TUTTLE: Well, thank you.
SIMON: How do you make it?
TUTTLE: Well, you have to get the very soft snow that has just fallen, mostly out of a drift, and you scoop up about five or six cups of snow. With that, you mix heavy cream, sugar and vanilla and stir it until it's soft and it's just fabulous.
SIMON: And how does it taste different than, you know, ice cream?
TUTTLE: It tastes a little bit - it seems to be colder. And it tastes like homemade ice cream but very special because you can only get it once a year.
SIMON: And I hasn't gotten to the point where you're doing things like raspberry lime chipotle pepper snow cream?
TUTTLE: No. We haven't done that. We like it just plain and good.
SIMON: Is there a difference between country snow and city snow?
TUTTLE: I would think ours is a lot cleaner. Wouldn't you?
SIMON: Well, look, those of us who live in cities, I mean, cities have made a lot progress.
TUTTLE: I know you have. I know you have. But I don't know. I haven't eaten any city snow cream, so it might be just as good.
SIMON: So, do people come and stay at your bed and breakfast and hope for snow so they can try a snow cream?
TUTTLE: Well, you know, several of them do but then most of them take the recipe home, and when it snows - if they live up north - then they make the snow cream.
SIMON: OK. So, like in a place like Chicago, you can make snow creams, you know, seven months out of the year.
TUTTLE: You certainly could. And it would just be wonderful. When we were little, we had dirt roads - every house we went to offered us snow cream. I mean, every family was making snow cream.
SIMON: So, Michael Jordan ate snow cream?
TUTTLE: I'm sure he did. I am sure he did. And so did Andy Griffith, I can tell you.
SIMON: So, why do you think this is a tradition particularly there?
TUTTLE: I have no clue. You know, it only occurred to me lately that everybody didn't eat it. I really thought the whole world was eating snow cream.
SIMON: You mean like in Siberia where they've got a lot of snow? What else are they going to do with it?
TUTTLE: Yes, yes. And they would probably make yak snow cream. I don't know.
SIMON: Chloe Tuttle runs a bed and breakfast in Williamston, North Carolina and hopes at some point this year she can make snow cream. Thanks very much.
TUTTLE: Thank you. This has been a pleasure. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.