Ahh, winter. Crisp, cold air, pristine white snow, icicles reflecting the morning sun. I remember our snow when I was growing up in Michigan being so high that we could actually reach up and pull off icicles from our roofline and eat them as popcicles. Unsanitary? Toxic? Perhaps that’s my problem…lol Hopefully those icicles are hanging from trees and not your eaves.
Icicles forming from your soffits (without the presence of the fast melts and refreezes with rapid temperature changes) are a sure sign of insulation problems in your attic. Lovely as they are, they are a dangerous sign that your insulation has pulled from the roofline or that it is insufficient altogether. They are dangerous in that when they become unstable as they thaw, they can fall and injure someone. If maiming or killing someone doesn’t bother you, perhaps your insurance deductible (and rising rates) after a claim will, when someone is struck by a falling icicle. Add enough insulation to prevent heat loss through your attic or roof space and icicles will stop forming there.
What, you don’t find insulation fun and interesting? Then how’s this: instead of playing with icicles, how about sending the kids out for a big bowl of clean, fluffy, fresh-fallen snow to make ice cream. No kids? Set a bowl out to collect the falling snow – wait until the snow has been falling for at least a half hour or so to ensure it’s free of contamination. Resist the temptation to dump a shovelful of snow into the bowl. Those dirty specks (or worse) will not fool anyone into thinking it’s anything other than plain vanilla flavor or anything besides dirt. Use your noodle and get clean snow with clean utensils. If you are using a metal bowl, it will chill faster. Once filled, move smartly back to combine ingredients, then chill in the freezer for a short time until ice cream is firmed throughout. Yummy!
Snow Ice Cream
1 c. Half & Half
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp real (pure) vanilla extract
dash of salt
5 c. of fresh, clean snow
Combine all ingredients, firm up in the freezer, enjoy (yes, you can skip the second step)!
This is an inexpensive frozen treat for the “chillrens,” and only takes up minimal freezer space for approximately 10 minutes . They will be chilled when they come in from collecting the snow for you, so come back again for more recipes to help keep them busy on snow days!
Thrifty Tip for Today: Check your vanilla extract label for corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup. Odd that it would be included in even Pure Vanilla Extract, sometimes it is. Usually, the “pure” varieties are rather more expensive and contain exotic additional ingredients that to me have no place in a a jar of pure vanilla extract. Still, they are there. Choose your vanilla from those with vanilla as the first ingredient and get your money’s worth. Additionally, compare apples to apples, oranges to oranges. Prices between types vary, so be sure you are buying the least expensive among pure vanillas without the icky stuff.