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If snow storms do one thing in particular, they force us to adjust to a simplier lifestyle, the kind that our forebears took for granted, never knowing that later generations would consider living off the land immediately around them, you  know, really goddamn boring. (Where’s the Xbox 360 controller, honey?)

But snow storms force us to become hyper local. Our favorite restaurants are suddenly those right around us. Our favorite grocery is the nearby convenience store, not the Whole Foods eight miles away. Our pantry, that space where you just stored foodstuffs willy nilly for weeks, has now become our best friend and soul mate.

Don’t forget to look outside, too. All that snow, as Native Americans and Vermonters alike understand, is perfect for making homemade snow cones. No need to strain your arm shaving ice for the sweet treat. Just go outside and scoop up your main ingredient.

I did just that this morning. Here’s the process, simplier than making coffee:

1. Go outside and collect snow, preferrably some that’s not pockmarked by debris and icicle drippings from your roof, which carries God knows what kind of crud. Icicles like this monster:

Don’t worry about the snow’s impurities. It has to be better than the water you’re using for ice cubes. Then pack that snow tightly in a cone or, in my case, a Chimay goblet.

2. Heat the maple syrup in a sauce pan until a liquid consistency. It makes the syrup easier to pour. (You could also just pour it over the top without heating, which will not ruin the presentation of your cone as much but with concentrate the sweetness.)

3. Ignore the ignoble look of your “snow cone” and dig right in. It’s absolutely delicious. It’s like the sweetest, freshest, most natural Icee you’ve ever eaten.