What to do with too much snow: maple snowcones

This post from Ali, who is typing from beneath about 6 feet of snow.

Maple snowcones. Suh-weet!

Maple snowcones. Suh-weet!

Maybe it goes down like this: it is snowing. It has snowed, it continues to snow, it will never stop snowing. You have shoveled and scraped ice and dug cars out of the snow and paid people the sum of your last six paychecks to plow, and still it snows.

You have Embraced Winter. You have skied, you have snowshoed, you have gone sledding, you have caught snowflakes on your tongue, you have baked banana bread and made hot chocolate and built snow forts with the children. You have dried the dog’s paws off, said “please take your boots off before walking through the house” about sixteen billion times, you have sprinkled rock salt on the driveway day upon day. You have risen before dawn for weeks and weeks, in order to exercise so that your blood continues flowing.  You have taken your vitamin D-3 and your fish oil supplements, you have embraced fuzzy mittens and enormous, fur-lined winter boots, and you feel like you have really done your part here.

And still, it snows. Sometimes the snow is picturesque, and sometimes it is slushy and wet and chills you to the bone. One day, it is accompanied by an official Roof Collapse Warning — a roof collapse warning, for heaven’s sake. Another day, it is accompanied by giant gusts of wind, and on yet another day it is accompanied by temperatures of -11 degrees F. You begin hearing forecasts and saying, “oh, this time it’s *only* ten inches.”

You heard on the radio that 49 of our 50 states in the union have had snow in the last week. It snows, it snows, world without end, forever and ever, it will never stop snowing.

This is the way the world ends,
This is the way the world ends,
This is the way the world ends,
Not with a bang but a snowflake.

Sometimes it is picturesque. Your back yard is filled with large birch trees, and is there any sight more lovely than birch bark against snow? You live, delightfully, next to a miniature donkey, and is there any sight more adorable than a miniature donkey in the snow? An owl flies past your window. A fox makes tracks through your yard. Children pull each other on sleds.

Other sights: less picturesque: puddles of slush, ponds of slush, oceans of slush. The mountain of snow between your car and the sidewalk.  Your hands, chapped red and cracking after a long day of shoveling. Move over, dishpan hands. You’ve got nothing on snow shoveling hands.

This is how it is. What left is there to do?

Here’s what there is left to do: walk outside with a big Pyrex mixing bowl. Better yet, send your children outside with a big Pyrex mixing bowl. Tell them to go to the cleanest part of the yard — a place where no dog has walked, where no boot has stepped, where no tree has dropped branches — and scoop up snow. The top layer of snow is ideal, and if it has been sleety, so the top layer is a little bit icy, all the better.

Scoop snow into individual bowls. Drizzle with maple syrup.

You have just made maple syrup snowcones, which I assure you are the finest dessert you will find mid-winter in New England. Not only are they delicious — we’re talking maple syrup, people, pure maple syrup, which may have even come from the farm right down the road, the one where you celebrated your older daughter’s first AND second birthday parties — they are also an outstanding reminder that spring comes again each year. That someday, in the not-too-far future, sap will flow from trees on days too warm to be snowy, that there is a cycle to all things, and that where you are, right now (even if you are trapped beneath a mountain of snow, metaphorically or otherwise) is right now.

And that this, too, can be pretty sweet.

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2 Responses to What to do with too much snow: maple snowcones

  1. Jay Walsh says:

    Yes, reminds me of Sugar On Snow, a wonderful Canadian Winter tradition. All you need is some maple syrup, snow and popsicle sticks. Kids love love love this. See Amy Blogs Chow for a demo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVycchqwlac

  2. keisha says:

    Awww, truly? Snow in the yard? Wouldn’t it be cleaner to get it from the roof of from the window pane in the attic? Very cute,lol

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