Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tu B'Shvat 2014

it is 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i have been baking, cooking, and straightening up all day.  tomorrow evening is the new year for trees.  i make a tu b'shvat seder every year.  last year due to health issues, i didn't host one. i merely bought 12 items and the kids and i ate them and said the appropriate blessings.  tomorrow  night we'll be a small group of lady kabbalists.  i have small amounts of over 30 fruits and nuts to display

two years ago i cooked a different dish out of nearly 30 varieties of nuts and fruits.  it was way over the top.  i ended up eating most of the leftovers and put on a bit of weight.  this year i am keeping with the 12 fruits and nuts that correspond to the 12 letter name of Hashem.  we will read a torah passage for each item we eat and we will drink 4 cups of wine.  we will alternate from drinking white wine to red wine.  we always crack up when we need to add a 'drop' of red wine to the white wine.  someone always screws up.

i already set the table and put out little wine glasses.  i don't think any of us are up to drinking large goblets of wine anymore.   i also have grape juice for any tea totters among us.  this year we will have live entertainment.  my good freind and neighborhood buddy is bringing her organ.  she has been looking up fruit songs for days.  she called me up with a preview.  we always break out in song after drinking the wine.  we usually can't think of a lot of songs.

one elderly friend usually sings 'chiquita banana' and actually knows all the words.  another friend used to sing 'i've got a lovely bunch of coconuts' but,  unfortunately, she won't be joining us this year.  i actually delegated this year and asked different people to bring things.  one friend is bringing oatmeal cookies.  for the occassion,  she has added chocolate chips, cranraisins, and almonds.  another friend is bringing lemon squares.  everyone is excited to be using butter because we won't be serving any meat.  the guest musician is bringing a sweet noodle kugel and an orange and avocado salad.  one guest is bringing some fruit and napkins.  you know how crazy i am about  theme napkins!

i made coconut bars with fresh coconut.  i broke my small electric grinding machine in the process.  i should have just used the hand grater.  i also made carob and date brownies.  i only had a bar of goat butter.  i used a cup of date honey.   i hope it tastes okay.  i also made fruit bars with peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, prunes and apricots.  i cooked wheat and barley together with spices, apple juice and raisins.  that's to start the seder.  i also made my signature cream of chestnut soup.  i am planning on buying some cheese tomorrow to go with the fruit.

i am still suffering with leg and back pain.  i went to the homeopath on monday but the remedy didn't help at all.  i will have to ask the gyn/oncologist next week for help.  i did manage to walk home yesterday from canaan.  once a half hour walk, it now took forever.  i wanted to stop every few minutes.  i made it home anyway, but passed out for most of the day.  i am in constant pain and am beginning to think it won't ever go away.  i can not bend to pick up an object.  i have to get down on all fours and clean up the toys.  i find it very difficult to get in and out of bed and cars, are specially wicked for me.  enough pain talk on to the seder!

we have fresh orange, kiwi, mango, pear, pomegranate, apple, persimmon, carob, coconut, avocado and star fruit.  we also have canned lychees and canned olives.  i plan on making fried lychee donuts tommorow.  we have dried dates, figs, estrog, cherries, peach, prunes, apricots, papaya and raisins.  there are no grapes available in zefat this year.  we have almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, chestnuts, macadamians, brazilnuts and pistashios.  i  made chocolate leafs because the cocoa bean groes on trees.  and i am planning on serving coffee with whipped cream.

i already organized  the seder and the texts.  my friend is organizing a 'name that tune' game.  hopefully, it will all go well and we'll all have a ball.  they are predicting another snow storm after tu b'shvat.  oh please let it be not.  me and snow are enemies now.  i don't want to see any more snow ever again.  my fruit trees are miraculously standing and all the debris has been cleaned.

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