Appalachia Appalachian Food

Snowcream Memories


Wanda: “We loved it as kids–it was rare to get snow in southern west TN. Mama made it with Pet milk, sugar & vanilla. Put that in the bowl & kept adding snow till it got thick enough. Can’t remember having it while we still had cows to milk but I bet it’d be super with some real farm cream.”

Al: “I remember my mom and dad making snow cream when I was about 7 or 8. We made and ate a lot. We also had a huge chest type deep freeze for our garden vegetables and we collected up some extra snow and kept it in the freezer for quite a while and then made more snow cream later.”

Eva. M. Wike: “Just yesterday I was talking with my sister, Eddie Lee, over in Clay County. We recalled how we use to get a dishpan and big spoon to gather snow for snowcream. Mama always said now go out the lane and get the clean snow off the locust fence posts! We had to get a dishpan FULL so everybody would have a little snowcream! There were eleven of us plus mama and daddy!”

Yecedrah Higman: “My momma made snow cream every time it snowed and when I got married I make it every time it snows! I have made it with the first snow and with the last snow (never have been sick from it). I love it and my children love it. My momma made it with Pet milk, sugar, and vanilla, but when I grew up I found condensed milk. I found that made a more velvety textured snow cream!!!”

Glynda P. Chambers: “As to the snow cream yes I have eaten it all my life. No recipe, just a big bowl of clean snow, sugar, vanilla and enough Carnation Cream to make it kinda thick and tasty. I have three children and I have made it for them every year too. My husband used to say to me when they were small, don’t make that and let them eat it, it’s poison. Well I say it is not since I’m 71 years old and have been eating it since I was a small child and I don’t think I’ve missed a year since and I’m still here enjoying Snow Cream.”

H Lee Mears: “We made snow-cream but that was chancy in Canton with the mill. Usually made it at Grannys at Lake Logan. Granny had fresh eggs daily and she and mother beat to death 2-3 eggs and added to the cream slurry. Loved lots of vanilla.”

Shirl: “Mom made snow cream every time it snowed more than a few inches when her kids were home. It was a real treat for a bunch of kids who didn’t get ice cream very often. She never wanted to make cream until we had a big snow that cleaned the air. With all the coal dust in the area and soot from our coal burning chimney, she had to act fast. She always made it up in a big metal mixing bowl. We all got a spoon and ate from the same bowl.”

LDockery: “I made snow cream last night–just snow, sugar, and Carnation cream mixed until it tasted right. I put the leftover in the freezer–so it wouldn’t waste, lol! Savannah tried to make it in Illinois last year and they couldn’t believe she would eat it–said it was dirty. Maybe it is, but some things are just worth the risk.”


I hope you enjoyed reading snow cream memories from the Blind Pig archives. There hasn’t been enough snow to make snow cream this winter, but I’m hearing we might get some. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the rumor is true.


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  • Reply
    January 31, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Wow, I’ve never heard of this before!! My mom would try and make snow cones out of blocks of ice and a machine when I was a kid. Or I would try to get a cup of snow and pour root beer over it… Never worked out just right! This is genious!

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    January 28, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Tipper I grew up in the late fifties and sixty use to snow a lot then in the mountains I looked forward to making snow cream but Miss Julie wasn’t in favor of me making it. My Dad Jake like to tease and if he saw me go to a clean spot he would Say Moo I saw old Tom out there just ruined my snow cream enjoyment . I I hadn’t known better him and Miss Julie were in co hoots to dis courage me if eating snow cream. miss Julie was afraid of pollution air fall out etc that miss snoop might have been right some times after eating it I took sore throat I know one thing she had buy extract of vanilla and sugar

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    January 28, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I love snow cream! My Mom used to make when were little before we moved to Florida and that ended that! I have made it since we moved here. I hope we have another snow so I can make some for my grandson.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Mother use to make it when we were kids, maybe one of these days I can stay home long enough to enjoy it once again, usually having to work in it is not my definition of enjoyment.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    January 28, 2019 at 11:16 am

    We called it snow ice cream, and it was — still is — one of my favorite things. We were blessed with one snow this year that was deep enough to make ice cream. Mama sometimes made it with homemade maple syrup instead of sugar. Either way, it is delicious. There was an ice cream shop in Houston, Texas, that had vanilla sherbet that tasted much like snow ice cream, but they discontinued it after awhile.

  • Reply
    Yvette Ridenour
    January 28, 2019 at 11:09 am

    I make it every time there’s a good snow! I use Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk and whip it up! My kids have grown up loving it, just as I did.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 10:12 am

    I just enjoy a dish of ice cream and would love to try this. It makes me want some right now. The recipe makes me lick my chops. Yummy!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 28, 2019 at 9:07 am

    We don’t get the right kind of snow anymore to make snow cream. You need the dry powdery stuff that you have to pack into the dish pan. The kind that squeaks when you walk in it. The snow we get anymore is too wet. It turns to slop too quick. That and our homes are too warm. You need cold cream, cold vanilla, cold sugar and a freezing back porch to make good snow cream.
    The lucky ones are those who have access to real cream. Not sweetened condensed milk but cream that is skimmed off the top of last night’s milking. So good it ought to be illegal and in most places nowdays is! Sad!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 8:57 am

    I have got to wonder how Mom kept the snow cream so firm while mixing it. Maybe it was due to the kitchen being colder than our homes are today. I’m going to try making myself a small bowl if we get the snow they are predicting tonight. I used to worry about coal dust in our snow cream but now I’m afraid it will be laced with bourbon. Not because of the added liquid, but because I live right smack in the middle of the bourbon capital of the world where the strong liquor smell is in the air night and day.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Oh my goodness, I sure remember Mother making a dishpan of snow cream in Illinois where I grew up. It was a big treat for us. I’m sure it was rare for them to get snow when she was growing up in MS, but that is where she first tasted it when her Mother made it.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    January 28, 2019 at 8:16 am

    We always had snow cream when it snowed. In mid SC it was alot less often than now. I still remember when the A bomb testing was going on that they warned not to eat it as it would contain radioactive dust thrown in the atmosphere.
    Each snowflake crystal starts around a dust particle. If you let a pan full melt it will have the dust in the bottom. As the Bible says you will eat so much dirt. I for one think it is more healthy than the chemical laced ice cream that we eat.
    we still make it but not as often now.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    January 28, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Never had it, but love the qualifier Pet Milk. I was born in FL sunburn was alwzys treated with Pet milk. It took the “fure” out of the burn.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 28, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Yep, grew up eating snow cream. It took a dishpan full and heaping to end up with much and then it needed to be eaten quickly before it was just liquid again. But we didn’t get store-bought ice cream or orange juice or cereal. We were still in homemade mode. Been a long time now since I had snow cream.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 28, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Loved snow cream as a child but have not had any for years. Great memory.

  • Reply
    Yancey Davis
    January 28, 2019 at 7:25 am

    When I make mine I make a cooked custard base like Mama used to do.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    January 28, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Hardly ever had ice cream but we always made snow cream. We would rake alittle snow off the top and scoop up the underneath. My wife is a big kid and she still makes it when we have a big enough snow. Hardly ever having ice cream reminds me of what we did to the blackberry dumplings. Mom or Mamaw took cream and added sugar and we dipped it over our dumplings. It was called a very fancy name. Dip.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      January 28, 2019 at 10:56 am

      Not enough snow here in middle TN either. We’ve had a little twice & it is cold, cold, cold.

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