How to Make a Snow Cone

As the Northeast braces for the storm of the century of the week, her citizens have turned into a population of old tabby house cats, arranging their nests as they prepare to die. In their desperate need to shop for anything, people have even cleared out the bad ice cream flavors from the grocery store shelves.

Luckily, when it snows, we can make our own ice cream.

We can make snow cones.

NOTE: The literature on eating snow is divided. Some experts warn that it contains too much bacteria to be considered safe, while others argue that, in small quantities, a little snow won't do much harm. We reached out to the American Association of Poison Control Centers for the official word on eating the frozen fluff water you find on your fire escape, but have not heard back. In the meantime, our advice when preparing snow cones is to use only the topmost layer of freshly fallen snow. (Consider setting out a clean snow-catching bowl if you don't want to worry about scraping too deep).

(All recipes make 8 to 10 servings)

Option 1: "Hawaiian" Snow Cone
Traditional Hawaiian shave ice is made with shaved ice (which we won't be using) and local ingredients like guava, pineapple, and lychee (which we also won't be using). Sometimes it is topped with sweetened condensed milk. We probably have that.

Ingredients:
8 cups non-packed snow
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1) Place snow in bowl
2) Pour condensed milk and vanilla over snow
3) Mix by hand to combine
4) Serve immediately in bowls or paper cups

Option 2: SNOLO Snow Cone
Maybe you are a bad ass who sees freshly driven snow and is immediately compelled to drench it in sin. No problem: put some booze in it.

Ingredients:
8 cups non-packed snow
8 ounces Kahlúa liqueur
4 ounces milk
4 ounces cream
(Mix and match milk/cream to your fancy. It's a snow day. Treat yaself.)

Directions:
1) Place snow in bowl
2) Pour liqueur and liquid dairy item of your choice (we suggest Kahlúa, milk, and cream) over snow
3) Mix by hand to combine
4) Serve immediately in bowls or paper cups

Option 3: The Pauper's Snow Cone
Are you cheap and/or ill-equipped to deal with many of life's most basic challenges? Even you can probably make this snow cone, which is basically just sugar water.

Ingredients:
8 cups non-packed snow
2 cups white sugar
1 cup cold water
1 (.13-ounce) package Kool-Aid (or other fruity drink mix)

Directions:
1) In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water and sugar to a boil
2) Stir constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved; remove from heat
3) Now you have made "a simple syrup." Call your mom and tell her you've learned how to cook.
4) Add powdered drink mix, if available
5) Once syrup has cooled, pour over snow
6) Mix by hand to combine
7) Serve immediately in bowls; you probably don't have paper cups

Safety tip: If you live in an old house, do not garnish your snow cones with icicles you find hanging off the roof. They might contain traces of lead.

["'Hawaiian'" recipe via Paula Deen / "Pauper's Cone" via AllRecipes // Image via AP]