It’s cold outside — blustery and snowy, in fact — but all you can think about is a nice big bowl of vanilla ice cream.
Might seem counterintuitive, but, hey, too much time in artificial heat makes us do silly things.
You’d get in the car, but the last thing you want is to end up spinning out while on the road solely for a bowl of Blue Bunny.
So, what’s an ice cream lover to do?
Tawra Kellam has an idea. She says you can use the conditions to your advantage and save money in the process.
Kellam, an Andover penny-pincher and editor of www.livingonadime.com, says a snowy day is the perfect time for ice cream, just go outside and get some ingredients.
That’s right, you can make snow ice cream.
Kellam found out how to do it years ago when working on her book, “Dining on a Dime.”
“I always had heard about it and wanted to try the recipe to put in the book,” Kellam says. “The kids love it.”
Her recipe for snow ice cream — fresh snow, sugar, vanilla and whole milk or half and half — has been a YouTube sensation, getting more than 67,000 hits in the past year. In the two-minute video, she describes how even in a blizzard, enterprising chefs and their kids can make ice cream out of snow.
Kellam says that by using fresh snow, ice cream lovers can save good money and have fun, too.
“Ingredients for regular ice cream cost about $3 to $4,” she says. “Snow ice cream can be made for pennies — 25 cents or less.”
But is it really safe to eat snow? Kellam, who suggests putting a clean bowl outside to catch the snow rather than just digging it off the ground, thinks so.
“Don’t eat the yellow snow,” she jokes. But then she adds, “Unless you live in a very polluted area, there shouldn’t be any problems.”
Indeed, Aurora Shields, water quality manager with the City of Lawrence, says that while she has never seen advisories against eating snow, she wouldn’t do it. Though, she says, “It’s not up to the city of Lawrence to tell you what to eat.”
Andrew Stull is also skittish about the idea. Stull, an environmental health specialist for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, spends his days inspecting restaurants now, but once upon a time, he was a well inspector. He says as a child he’d drink from streams, but these days he’s wary of letting his kids do so — or eat snow. Any untreated water makes him a bit nervous.
“It has to be more polluted than what comes out of the tap,” Stull says. “Make snow angels, make snowmen, but I wouldn’t make a snack out of it.”