Though I may never have gotten the Easy-Bake Oven I wanted as a child, I did get several different ways to create my very own shaved ice delicacies otherwise known as sno-cones. They seem to be called “snow cones” these days, but back then it was hipper to drop the “w” and form a cool new misspelled word. My very first ice shaving toy was the Frosty Sno-Man Sno-Cone Machine. The commercial for this mechanical wonder boasted the five different flavors you could serve and showed a boy popping ice cubes into Frosty’s head. He then easily turns a red crank, which wasn’t easy to turn at all in reality, and makes ice crystals spew out of a hole in Frosty’s stomach while other little boys looked on, lashing their tongues out at Frosty rather creepily. Yeah, thinking back, commercials were really weird back then. But that was just the beginning, as more amazing ways to make these frozen treats were in my future.

The second way to make sno-cones was the revolutionary Ice Bird which involved a completely different concept. With this little wonder you got a little red and yellow duck wearing yellow earmuffs. This one had a special container to freeze a giant log of ice. You would then start frantically rubbing the bird on the ice block like you were grating cheese until the cup inside was filled up with ice. You could then take the cup out and add the flavored syrup of choice. Red flavor was a favorite and featured in the commercial for this one. It wasn’t really cherry, just red flavored, and looked like a black goo on my black and white television. But what it lacked in flavor, it made up for in the sheer enjoyment of making sno-cones with a cute duck. Like so many things, then and now, the process what so much more fun than the result.

By the end of the 70’s, the ultimate shaved ice marvel was released in the form of the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, which is still available today. In this version the ice spewed out of a doghouse rather than the character itself, which is probably why it was more popular. And, by this point, things had progressed a bit and the commercials showed both girls and boys enjoying the wondrous invention together. This machine was really just the Frosty one all over again with a beagle on top, but it was cooler just because it was Snoopy. It was a blast to create your own edible masterpieces with these things. This was also the closest I ever came to cooking, probably because I should have received that Easy Bake Oven instead. But, it was a blast to make these frozen treats all by myself and though it may not have been a culinary treat like a cupcake or a pie, I still have very fond memories of making sno-cones.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Indian Yellow, Phthalo. Green Light, Dioxazine Purple, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Deep, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 11 - Making Sno-Cones Rainbow Snow Cone in Cup on white Background with wooden spoon

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31 thoughts on “Making Sno-Cones

  1. I’ve often heard of people on The Simpsons and the like speaking of sno-cones, with no idea as to what they actually were. Every day’s a school day – it all makes sense now! This is a tasty doodlewash – the gradient you’ve got there within the texture is really stunning.

      1. Nope! I don’t even recognise the name beside the aforementioned nods – maybe they weren’t as big over here, or I just missed them. I remember Slush Puppies on the seafront – maybe they’re a similar deal? I don’t think I was ever moved to try one, but the colours were similarly interesting!

  2. Sno-Cone cooking – you are hilarious. If Phillipe invites me over for a home cooked meal, I will gladly take him up on it. If it’s you with the invite, however, I’ll suggest we all go out for dinner.

    Still, you can’t beat those colors for glorious deliciousness, can you? You got every flavor dripped over the ice in this Doodlewash, and still managed to make it look icy and not like colored rocks – texture is everything in a sno-cone – good job, Charlie O’Shields!

  3. Lovely painting, and such a treat to take a walk down memory lane. I remember those commercials as a kid, but never got either of the cool toys…nice to know Snoopy is still around, might need to visit the toy store…lol ;D

  4. That Frosty Sno-Cone maker! Yes, we had one. Yes, it was kinda weird that the ice came of his stomach, and I think I remember it took a long time to crush up enough ice to make it worth while. What I definitely remember was being disappointed that it wasn’t ice cream. You have done Frosty justice with your doodlewash – and thankfully your painting does not have any of that red flavor. (Really, how did they get away with that? bleh!)

  5. Thank you for sharing this thirst quenching delectable colorful snow ball. I remember hawkers pushing their rusty overdue scrap metal carts to our driveway. That was many moons ago in the Changi Village of Singapore. Today, I cringe at the thought of dirty finger nails and dark labored palms that once molded countless numbers of my ice balls. Blocks of ice were placed on manual ice shaving stands, held to the shaving blades on the top end by long sharp spikes that looked more like a medieval torturing clamp by a rotating the iron cast wheels so discolored with peeling paint. Nearby, the hawkers placed strategically positioned bronze vessels containing only one red, one green and one brown (coconut sugar) syrups beside cans of either condensed or evaporated milk.

    After the hawkers rolled to shape our snow balls with both hands and tossed them into the air for a bit of raw juggling skills, we exchanged them with a few copper coins. In our little soiled hands, we toss these numbing cold icy treats and sucked hard into them to draw out every drop of the syrups. Those were rare treats worth begging for! These days, electric ice shavers and gloved hands handled them delicately and the new generation demolish them in a dessert bowl using porcelain or metal shovels.

    1. Thanks so much! Glad you liked this! 😃💕 And wow, what a fabulous story! Loved all of your descriptions and details. As kids, dirt didn’t really seem to be a thing to worry about…. hehe… but nice to know things have changed in the modern versions of snowballs! 😉

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