You may not have seen the Mad Men episode about the Sno Ball campaign, but chances are good you remember Sno Cones in paper cups from street vendors or Woolworth’s. On a hot August afternoon in Chicago, they were a treat waiting for the insufferably delayed Number 11 bus. On a warm New Jersey night, one can be inspired.
When the Wemrock Orchards truck came through camp Saturday evening, we bought another bag of ice—20 pounds!—and added ice to our pitchers. The Young Mr started crunching ice cubes, and The Adjutant observed, “You’re following the label’s advice: ‘Ice is Food’.” Mr S and I looked at each other and said, “I wonder if you could make a shrub slushy?” But what to beat the ice with? Musket butts were considered and rejected. And suddenly the Young Mr said, “We have a mallet!”
Indeed we do: Mr S made us a whacking great mallet with an enormous head. We ran to the tent to fetch the mallet and the flask of shrub, wrapped two handfuls of ice in the cleanest white cloth we had, laid it on Table (a clean, flat piece of firewood) and wielded the mallet. Just a small amount of shrub (recipe here) will do; it’s pretty potent stuff, even when non-alcoholic. I did not whack long enough, but shrub over crushed ice is a delicious, if highly unlikely for a common soldier, treat. The Adjutant is correct: the ice needed more whacking. But when he said, “I guess someone will have to make a mallet for the unit that’s flat on one side and serrated on another,” I figured we’d been accepted, crazy snow-cones and all.