When I was a child - about my daughter, Kylie's, age, my mom and I started this tradition. When the first snowfall came to our hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania, we'd don coats and scarves and mittens and head out into the backyard to collect a few cups of freshly fallen snow. I used this little red sand bucket to collect it - after the summer months, Mom always made sure it was scrubbed clean and stored in the closet until winter was upon us.
When snow was forecasted, I'd begin watching the windows, eyes peeled for the first fluffy flakes to appear. As soon as I spotted them, I'd run to the hall closet, grab that red pail with the lemon-yellow handle and shout for my mom to bundle up!
I was fidgety with anticipation as she buttoned my coat and tugged my cap over my ears. Once we were suitably layered, I would place one mittened hand in hers, the other holding tightly to my pail, and we'd venture outside to begin scooping soft, virgin snow into our container.
Of course, occasionally, the snow didn't always make it into the pail - an impromptu snowball battle was often called for first. =)
But after the snow was finally collected, we'd make our way back inside with red noses and crisp smiles. Mom would carry the snow into the kitchen and store it in the freezer as we set about preparing Snow Cakes, a recipe as sweet in tradition as it is in taste.
I recently rediscovered this recipe of my mom's, written in her elegant, sweeping hand, in the back of one of my own forgotten cookbooks. For any who may want to start their own mother-daughter snow tradition, I'm including it here:
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup packed snow
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tsp grated orange rind
Enjoy with cocoa. Preferably the Hershey kind. (And Kylie says not to forgot the marshmallows, too.)
(To learn more about Sadie, Kylie and their mother/daughter adventures, check out the book Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)