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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A holiday story from my childhood...........

Most of my childhood summers were split between being in northern New Mexico at my grandfather's ranch and in west Tennessee with my cousins on the river. The two places are world's apart and so very different.

You see in NM I was the city cousin who didn't know anything about ranching and taking care of animals. In TN I was the country cousin who didn't know anything about how to participate in a proper tea or cotillion. Funny how perception is skewed by where you're from, in the eyes of others.

I always saw myself as slightly out of place, but at that age, I don't think I really cared. I ran as a wild child at both locations. Always the fun of being away from home and having adventures. I saw things on the ranch that have led me to be a much more animal loving human. I also saw things on the ranch that have given me a sense of pride in my heritage and culture. I saw things on the river that made me want to be nicer to folks (remember this was the 50's in the south) and take a different look at how I treated others. I also saw things on the river that makes me long to be back there as an adult. The slow beauty of the time spent fishing, watching the wildlife. I long for those toe swishing the water and daydreaming times.

But that was the summer and we're talking the winter holidays now. I never did see TN in the winter. We never went back to my Aunt's house during winter. But we did go to Las Vegas most Christmases. Either before or after the day depending on the snow fall. Back then it was not an easy trip to my grandparents house. We would travel and have to stop along the way sometimes for hours. That was back when Route 66 was how you would travel to get from ABQ to Las Vegas, NM.
this is very much like my grandparents home

On more than one occasion we got stuck in a snow storm and when we finally did get there, the warmth of the big Victorian house was so welcoming. All the windows would be iced over. Not from decorating but from the cold and the wooden windows not being very efficient. The glow of the house will forever be a wonderful childhood memory for me.

The best part was the mud porch because that's where my Aunt Katie had a huge bowl of snow cream kept. My Pepe was crazy for snow cream. And everyone loved to make him happy. Or as I found out later on, it was wise to keep my Pape happy.

At any rate, as soon as we had had our Christmas dinner of tamales, carne asada, roast pig, a huge salad of every veggie in the world and tortillas, we had the tray of sweets to pick from empanadas, biscochitos, mexican wedding cookies and flan. Aunt Katie, Mame and my aunts cooked for days and they kept most everything on the mud porch because it was cold out there. And they had a huge blue salt bowl (that's the finish) with this snow cream just waiting for the very end of the meal. My Pape would act very surprised and happy when they brought the bowl in and showed him. He would portion out the sweet, rich vanilla flavored, egg laden, fresh cream infused snow cream like it was from the heavens above.

I remember being 6 when I finally got to have a taste of his heaven cream. It was as good as he pronounced it to be. I suppose it was because it was made special by the mystery of it that it tasted so good. How could anyone take regular snow and make something so very special?

Through the years, my Mother tried to make snow cream. It was good but seemed to be lacking something. I think it was the fresh cream. You know the kind that comes off of the top of the milk bucket after you've spent all the time milking the cow. Or possibly the fresh eggs. Or maybe it was the blue salt bowl that kept the magic in the mixture. But more than anything I always believed it was the snow itself that made it taste so wonderful. You know the just right, fluffy, promise filled snows of times gone by.

Whatever the magic, it still holds onto a part of my heart and will forever be a part of my memories of childhood winter bliss.


  1. Aww, what a wonderful memory! Maybe you'll get some snow to give it a go this year...

  2. Such wonderful memories you have shared! In Ohio we had a redition called snow ice cream... A little more on the lean side... Sugar, vanilla, and regular milk. Only made with freshly fallen snow as we were city folks and fresh snow get dirty pretty darn fast in the city. :o)
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  3. What wonderful childhood memories of Christmas for you to treasure. Thanks for sharing them. I've never had snow cream.

  4. This is the kind of memories I always tried making for my children and grandchildren. I can't remember if I ever had snow cream. It sounds wonderful. My grandfather would have loved it. He put cream on all of his desserts and I know he loved ice cream. Thanks for sharing. S&S

  5. Never heard of snow cream, mi amiga, but then, we don't have any stinkin' snow out here in the desert!! I love reading about your childhood...it's sounds quite familiar!! LOL

    Have a good one and don't work too hard...I like the idea of you being the "queen" and handing out various chores to your darlings...I should be so lucky!!

    Muchos blessings and love,

  6. How magickal to have snow cream! It sounds like a delicacy right out of a faery tale. Having been brought up in Southern Ca. and having oranges rather than snow cream, I'm envious : ) Maybe one day, I'll have it.

  7. You've warmed my heart with snow cream, frosty windows and girl gone wild in the summer away from home ;-)

  8. What a wonderful story, Linda. Snow cream is new to me. I'd love to taste some now.

  9. This is beautiful Oma Linda! Your memories are so special! You made me smile how you described the fresh cream, the kind that comes off of the top of the milk bucket, after milking the cow. My mom always has talked to me about that fresh cream! She said there was nothing like that! Big Hugs ;o)

  10. what a wonderful memory. congratulations on your post of the week!

  11. I loved this.
    And I agree, to be childlike in some ways is a great way to get older.

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. What a heart-warming story and wonderful memory of Christmas past. I did not know it snowed in that part of the country. I thought it was always warm - or hot!

    That snow cream sounds heavenly. I'd love a taste.
    Congrats on your POTW award!
    Sending hugs

  13. Hi: I'm here via Hilary at The Smitten Image. What a delightful story to savor and re-read! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Have a Happy New Year! :)

  14. Hillary sent me and I am glad I came for such a good read. It is fun to look back on things we saw through a child's eyes.


You are always welcome to comment on my thoughts and I love them all......