Using Snow to Make Slushies, and 11 Other Foolproof Winter Hacks

December 28, 2017

Ben & Jerry' Ice cream cone

Welcome to winter, folks! Up here in our home state of Vermont, the snow is falling, the trees are glistening, and we’re all planning our weekends around that big ski trip. But as much as we love winter, we can’t deny that it comes with its challenges. Like digging your car out of a snowbank after a storm. Or being cold all. the. time. Or navigating walking the dog when the sidewalks haven’t been plowed yet.

As an office of Vermonters, we have some tried-and-true winter hacks for you. Stay warm out there, ice cream lovers.

  1. Beware The Plow Pile

    It’s a specific type of pain to spend an hour or more shoveling only to watch the snow plow go by, depositing a fresh pile of ice and snow at the end of your driveway. Save yourself the regret — wait until after the plow has gone by to shovel the driveway.

  2. Recycle Your Heat

    After you bake a pizza (or cake or cupcakes) in the oven, leave the oven door open to let the heat warm up the kitchen. No use wasting it!

  3. Scraping By On Credit

    Forgot to put your ice scraper in the car? A credit card works in a pinch. Gloves strongly recommended for this maneuver.

  4. Snow + Maple Syrup = Heaven

    Sure, ice cream is the real MVP of desserts, but we wouldn’t be doing our due diligence as Vermonters without mentioning sugar on snow. Heat a small saucepan of maple syrup (the real stuff) on the stove, and drizzle it over a bowl of packed (clean) snow. Grab a spoon, and enjoy!

  5. Kitty Litter Can Be A Lifesaver

    Wheels spinning hopelessly on the ice? Kitty litter is just the thing to give you the traction you need. We like to keep a bag in our trunks, just in case.

  6. Pack An Emergency Car Kit

    We don’t want to believe we’ll ever be stranded by the side of the road in a storm, but it happens. Keep some survival essentials in your car in case the worst happens: hand warmers, a blanket, a collapsible shovel, energy bars, water, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.

  7. Get Slushy

    Turn your favorite mixed drink into an instant slushy! Grab a handful of snow from outside your door, and use that instead of ice. BAM! It’s slushy time.

  8. Snow Tires Are A Must-Have (But So Is Smart Driving)

    We are all about snow tires up here in the north country. They’re worth every penny and every moment of hassle. But, they’re not a replacement for prudent driving. If it’s slippery, slow down. Those tires can only do so much.

  9. Function > Form

    When the mercury falls, let fashion fall by the wayside, too. Those fluffy boots with the 4-inch heels may be cute, but they aren’t going to do you any favors in a foot of snow. Instead, try this: sturdy, waterproof boots; layers upon layers of flannel, fleece, wool, and down; a good hat, no matter how ugly; and waterproof gloves or mittens.

  10. Let The Great Outdoors Be Your Refrigerator

    No more room in the refrigerator or freezer? Just open the back door! Keep drinks (and pints of ice cream) cold without giving up precious fridge space.

  11. Make a Winter Wonderland Play Table For Kids

    Turn a sand or water table into a winter play spot for the little ones. Freeze bowls of water to make icebergs and bring in scoops of snow to make snowbanks. Give kids toy penguins and polar bears to play with in their little winter wonderland.

  12. Plan Ahead For Snowstorms

    Here’s a rookie mistake we’ve all made: you wake up to a huge snowfall, and — whoops — your shovel or snowblower is in the shed, 30 feet away from the house. Plan ahead — when you know a snowstorm is coming, park your shovels or snowblower right by your door. No wading through the snow needed.