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Tu Bishvat Recipes and Crafts

Tu Bishvat

Tu Bishvat ט"ו בשבט celebrates the New Year for Trees (Hebrew: ראש השנה לאילנות). Tu Bishvat is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat. ט"ו are the Hebrew numerals of 15.
Tu Bishvat is the Jewish Arbor Day holiday and is celebrated in the kibbutzim in Israel as an agricultural holiday. Since ancient times on Tu Bishvat, trees were planted for children born during the previous year: cedar trees for boys (so the child would grow to be tall and upright), and cypress trees for girls (so the girl will grow to be graceful and fragrant). When the children grew, they used branches from their cypress and cedar trees to make the canopy (Hebrew: huppah) of their wedding ceremony.
Many trees are planted by the schools and the JNF (Jewish National Fund). Since it was established in 1901, the JNF has planted more than 240 million trees all over Israel, covering more than 250,000 acres. Tu Bishvat seder is celebrated by eating dried fruits and nuts such as figs, dates, raisins, carob, and almonds. Almond trees are blooming all around Israel during this season. Many Israeli institutions chose this day for their inauguration. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Tu Bishvat 1918, the Technion in Haifa on Tu Bishvat 1925, and the Knesset on Tu Bishvat 1949.

Tu Bishvat Recipes

Pea Soup

Ingredients: (for 8)
3 onions
5 carrots
500 grams (18 oz) dry peas
3 tablespoons of instant chicken soup powder
10 cups of water
4 oz of butter
  1. Cook all the ingredients except the butter for one and a half hours after boiling.
  2. Mash them all in a blender to make a puree.
  3. Add the butter while hot until it melts.
  4. Serve the soup with toppings such as croutons, minced parsley, or minced green onions.

Corn Casserole

Ingredients: (for 8)
28 oz canned corn
16 oz canned cream of corn
6 eggs
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs (bread crumbs with herbs) + some to top the casserole
1 cup of grated yellow cheese
1/2 cup of cottage cheese or sour cream
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Pour into greased casserole pan.
  3. Sprinkle Italian bread crumbs on top.
  4. Cook for 1 hour on 380°F on the top shelf of the oven until golden brown.

Flaming Bananas (Bananas Foster, Bananas Flambé)

Ingredients: (for 6)
6 bananas
4 tablespoons of margarine
1/4 cups of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
6 tablespoons of rum
  1. Melt the margarine in a large pan.
  2. Peel the bananas and cook them in margarine on low heat for 4 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and cook on low heat until the sauce starts to bubble.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of rum and turn the bananas so they soak the sauce.
  5. Pour the rest of the rum over the bananas and cook briefly on low heat until the rum is warm.
  6. Take the pan off the stove.
  7. Ignite the bananas immediately but carefully with a long match.
  8. After the flames have died down, add toppings such as ice cream, whipped cream, and or chocolate sauce.
Safety precaution: please have a fire extinguisher ready when preparing this dish.
Beteavon! (Hebrew for bon appétit!)
Tu Bishvat Sameach! - Happy Tu Bishvat!

Tu Bishvat Kids Crafts

Flower Paper Plate Hat

Large paper plate
Small paper bowl
Two long ribbons
Glue or transparent tape
Hole puncher
Colorful construction paper (optional)
  1. Cut a hole in the middle of the large paper plate, the size of the bottom of the paper bowl.
  2. Insert the paper bowl and glue or tape it to the large paper plate.
  3. Be careful that the glue won't make the hat stick to the hair.
  4. Punch or cut two small holes on opposite sides of the paper plate.
  5. String two ribbons through the holes and tie them to the paper plate. These will tie under the child's chin to hold it in place.
  6. Decorate with a large ribbon around the paper bowl part.
  7. Make paper flowers from the construction paper and glue them to the hat.

Fruit Cups

Different fruits (nuts and dried fruits such as figs, dates, raisins, prunes, and apricots are customary for Tu Bishvat)
Paper cups
Colorful construction paper
Flower design cellophane size about 12x15 inches
Transparent tape
  1. Cut colorful construction paper and make little flowers.
  2. Glue on the cup.
  3. Cut a rectangle shape about 12x15 inches of the cellophane and tape it to the edges of the cup.
  4. The width should wrap around the top of the cup.
  5. Fill the cup with fruits.
  6. Tie the cellophane with the string.