Rekindle The Child Within


Carl Mays
Feb 15, 2006

“Do people make snow cream anymore?” This is the question I asked my wife Jean this past Sunday afternoon. We had arisen that morning to discover a very heavy snowfall at our Gatlinburg home. I stuck a yardstick in the buildup on our patio table and it measured a little over nine inches – and the snow was still coming down. About three more inches accumulated that day and evening. It was the biggest snow we’ve had in several years, and it was powdery, much lighter and fluffier than recent snowfalls. That afternoon as Jean and I walked in the snow, drove our four-wheel drive truck and did some shoveling, I thought and spoke of things I most remembered as a child when the white flakes fell. Snow cream flowed forth as one of my fondest memories. Mother regularly concocted the delicious treat.

“I don’t know,” Jean responded to my question. “I never hear anybody mention anything about snow cream anymore.” Of course, Jean had never heard of snow cream until after we were married and I told her about it. So I’m the one that made it in the early years of our marriage. She didn’t care as much for it as our son and I did. It seems to me that all the reports and warnings about acid precipitation, along with other contemporary warnings, must have sort of squelched snow cream making. I know that I had not made any in a long time.

Whatever the case, I made snow cream Sunday afternoon – and it was delicious. I’m sure people make it in different ways, but I followed my mother’s ingredients as best I could remember them. Being more conscious of fat and calories today than people were back then, we didn’t have any cream in the house Sunday, so I used non-fat milk. It was still delicious. I did use sugar, though, which is something I don’t ordinarily consume, usually replaced by artificial sweetener.

In case you’ve never made snow cream, the recipe consists of mixing a tablespoon of vanilla flavoring, four tablespoons of sugar and one-half cup of cream (milk for me). When this is well mixed, scoop up a quart of snow into a bowl, pour the mixture over it and stir. I made a little more than that. I’m still eating snow cream as I write this column. After a while, I mixed some strawberries with it for variety.

Monday, I shared a cup of snow cream with UPS driver Jim Murphy. He said it was good, that it tasted like the snow cream his mother made when he was a kid. Of course, I’m probably going to have some people telling me how dangerous eating snow can be today, but at least I did scoop it from our patio table rather than from the ground.

Making and eating that snow cream was simple but exciting. It reminded me of the line in my Winning Thoughts book: “Recapture the little child in you; the one that was there before you learned what you couldn’t do.” It also renewed my courage to revisit old things and continue to try new things, to learn from my failures and successes, and to build on my mistakes and right decisions.

Author Susan Ertz wrote, "Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon." Well, choose what you may for a rainy day, but snow cream is a great option on a snowy Sunday.

Carl Mays, author of over a dozen books and speaker at over 3,000 events, can be contacted at 865-436-7478 or His books, including A Strategy For Winning, People of Passion, Anatomy Of A Leader, Are We Communicating Yet? and Winning Thoughts, are available in stores, on and