Saturday, May 10, 2014

Snowballs in Spring

My snowball tree is filled with an abundance of pristine, white blossoms. They grow in beautiful, clustered orbs. Each branch is heavily laden with snowballs.

My tree was a gift from Karleen. Each spring when it blooms, I think of her and appreciate my tree {and her} even more. Just seeing it reminds me of early childhood memories. My family lived in a barracks that had been converted into an apartment for university married students {like my parents}. Units were small and close, but the back lawns were all connected and all the neighborhood children had a wonderful time playing together outside. When the snowball bushes bloomed, we had wonderful snowball fights with the soft, pristine blossoms. 

The floral snowballs also remind me of real snowballs! The kind that are hard when they hit you and that melt when you try to bring them inside! And they remind me of the quintessential Hostess Snowball. Do you remember them? They were a concoction of chocolate cake covered in marshmallow and rolled in coconut. So tempting in the package at the store, but mother would never buy them {they are "just fluff" she'd say and "not good for growing kids"}. But how pretty they were! Instead we'd use the idea to make homemade truffles at home and sis and I would roll them in unsweetened, flaked coconut until they were as dense and pretty as the blossoms on the snowball tree!

And you can make some too! Here's a recipe I enjoy. Find the coconut and you can roll to your heart's content. The recipe even includes tea!

  • 2 cups heavy cream (or SILK soy creamer)
  • 1/2 cup packed, fresh basil
  • 2 tea bags, Earl Grey tea
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lb. chocolate, bittersweet, chopped
  • Crushed cookies (gluten-free if necessary), toasted chopped nuts, shredded coconut or cocoa powder, for rolling.

Bring the cream to a low simmer over medium heat. Then remove from heat and add tea bags and basil leaves. Steep for 15 minutes. Then strain mixture and discard the solids. Return the pan of infused cream to the heat and simmer for five more minutes. Then, stir in chocolate until melted and combined. 

Cover mixture and place in fridge. Cool completely (2 hours or overnight). 

When ready to create truffles, place the topping or toppings of your choice in bowls. Use a spoon to scoop by teaspoonful and make a rounded 1 inch ball. Then roll in one of the toppings listed above. Each truffle should be well coated. 

Store truffles in a covered container in the fridge until ready for use.


  1. Fun memories, each one. Thank you for sharing.

  2. The snowball bush looks wonderful. There's one that blooms at my childhood home, but we never dared to use the blooms for a snowball fight. Those cake snowballs in white or pink, as I recall, were highly overrated.

  3. Love the last photo of how the sun shines through the snowballs.

  4. I really enjoy snowball trees/bushes. Happy Mother's Day to you!

  5. Snowball trees are so pretty. Loved reading your memories. I never had a commercial cake snowball either and your version sounds much more delicious.

  6. La Tea Dah! Oh! So happy to see your post! May your Mother's Day be delightful! Susan


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.