Tu B’Shvat. The 15th of the Hebrew month of Shvat, marks the “new year” for the trees.
We celebrate Tu B’Shvat by eating fruit, specifically from the kinds that the Torah mentions: Grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
So, here I have created a creative and delicious way to welcome this “New Year” for the trees.
The ‘ingredients’ for this project are simple and I promise that the results will not only make you smile but will fill any craving you may have had! Consider this somewhat of a ‘plated Tu B’Shevat Fondue!’.
Okay, here is what you will need:
(Amounts will vary depending on how many you wish to make, however the following will be enough for at least 4 plates)
- 1 box corn flakes
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 bunch of green grapes
- 1 box of fresh figs
- 1 box of dried dates
- 1 bag of mini marshmallows
- 1 container of Duncan Hines Chocolate frosting
- Sprinkles or Mini White chocolate chips
- 1 Freezer size ziploc
- sharp knife
- Chopstick or Skewer or similar pointed utensil
- 4 Plates (or one large rectangle platter)
Choose a set of 4 plates or even a long rectangle platter if you wish to create one large masterpiece of all four seasons. If you are doing this for little kids or Hebrew School or Preschool, you may want to divide up all supplies per child in advance, on a paper plate. Then together as a group you can show the kids how to ‘draw’ a tree using the chocolate frosting. (If you have really small children doing this, you may want to make the ‘trees’ for them and have them ‘decorate’ them with the fruits etc.).
1. Fill a ziploc bag with the chocolate frosting, snip just one corner of the ziploc in order to pipe the frosting and draw your tree.
2. Draw the basic tree template, trunk, roots and branches and twigs as you wish. You can fix up any frosting by using the chopstick or skewer, swirling designs into your ‘trunk’ and adding details in the branches etc.
3. To make the ‘spring’ tree: carefully add pomegranate seeds to your branches and to the ‘ground’.
4. To make the ‘summer’ tree: Slice the figs and grapes into wedge shapes and layer them decoratively into palm branches.
5. To make the ‘fall’ tree: carefully scatter corn flakes around all the branches of the tree as well as the ‘ground’, then add a few more corn flakes to make it look like the leaves are falling.
6. To make the ‘winter’ tree: cut mini marshmallows in half and place them on and around branches, spacing them a part to create a wintery look. Feel free to add a ‘fig’ snowman by cutting another fig in half, preferably using half of a smaller fig, for the head. (use the end of the fig that has a stem so it will act as a nose. Add eyes, mouth and arms by piping more chocolate frosting. (use two small white sprinkles for eyes or mini white chocolate chips).
7. To add some detail to the trunk of the trees, simply slice a date in half and place it carefully on the trunk. This adds a nice touch and dimension.
Allow children to design their own tree and choose their ‘seasonal ingredients’ to decorate their edible tree!
Women would also love this project, so you may consider doing this for a JWC event, while taking a deeper look into the spiritual meaning of a tree and life.
Wishing everyone a beautiful Tu B’Shevat!