Snow Cones

Credit: Aisha Han/Visual Editor Credit: Aisha Han/Visual Editor

No matter how old I get, snow days still feel like a sort of everyday magic — especially now that they’re fewer and further in between. Waking up to a phone call or email bearing the good news, I’m 11 again, squealing with excitement. No work, and I don’t even have to feel guilty!

In the snow day state of mind, there’s nothing to worry about. The world only extends as far as you want it to. Maybe it’s only as far as the window where you sit in your pajamas, mesmerized by each falling flake, or trying to catch glimpses of your neighbors to make sure there’s still life out there. Or maybe you take to the couch and turn on a movie to extend the world a little further, maybe the whole way to Platform 9 ¾ or even a wormhole to another dimension.

On these days, time feels stolen, like a personal day you didn’t ask for but offered up by Mother Nature who, with her maternal intuition, sensed you could use the time off. She gives us all the permission to forget what may come tomorrow and thoroughly enjoy today. This really is magical.

But what’s a magic show without a little popcorn? It may be too late to drive to the grocery store to pick up extra special snow day snackies, leaving you with only what you already have at your disposal. But I’m willing to bet you at least have sugar, milk, and vanilla extract floating around your kitchen, maybe some powdered drink mix or a little booze, too.

Lace up your snow boots and zip up your puffiest coat. The only missing ingredient? Snow! Because the whole day already feels a few degrees away from reality, the perfect snack to celebrate the magic takes advantage of the bounty that Mother Nature has bestowed. It’s like reaping the day’s harvest of whimsy. There’s almost a silliness to enjoying a cold snack on a cold day. Wrapped up in pajamas and blankets, safe next to the radiator, you’re safe from the cold snap of the outside air. If you close your eyes while you cool down with a fresh snowy snow cone, you can almost picture the poolside cabana you could be lying in. Still from your room, the world grows a little larger once again.

The best part, though, is the treasure hunt for a bowlful of perfectly clean, untouched, and un-peed-upon snow. Later in the day this can be a fun challenge. Each serving requires about four cups of snow, packed as hard as you can.

Vanilla Snow Cone
The classic.
• 4 cups of snow
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• ¼ cup of sugar
• ½ cup of milk
Combine ingredients and stir.

Kool-Aid Snow Cone
The nostalgic.
• 4 cups of snow
• 4 tablespoons of presweetened Kool-Aid mix
Combine and stir. If you have the Kool-Aid packets that do not come presweetened, add two tablespoons of sugar.

Frozen Margarita
You can pretend you’re at the beach.
• 4 cups of snow
• 5 ounces of tequila
• 2 ½ ounces of triple sec
• ½ cup of lime juice
• ¼ cup of simple syrup (heat ¼ cup each of sugar and water until dissolved)
Mix margarita ingredients until chilled. Pour over a glass of packed snow.

Frozen Irish Coffee
This one’s for Mommy.
• 4 cups of snow
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• ¼ cup of sugar
• ¼ cup of coffee
• ¼ cup of Irish cream
Combine all the ingredients and stir.

Maple Snow Candy
Bonus treat.
• sheet tray full of snow
• ½ cup of pure maple syrup
Boil maple syrup until a thermometer reads 255 degrees Fahrenheit. Slowly pour the maple syrup in strips onto the tray of snow. It will instantly harden into a chewy candy.