Did you know that Tu is the English equivalent of tav in the Hebrew alphabet, also the number nine? Tav plus "u", equals vav, or the number 6, so 9+6= 15.
Tu B'Shevat means the 15th of the month of Shevat.
It is also one of the four days called Rosh Hashanah, "Lilanot Shevat", or the New Year
of the Trees. This is national arbor day for Isreal and a number
of other countries. The seed for the year is blessed,and children visit door
to door with gifts of dried fruit.
Arbor Day in Israel is roughly around the end of February.
Take a cup of good quality dried Black Mission Figs and gently simmer the fruit to their original size, boiling first on medium, then reducing the heat to low to simmer.
When the fruit is ready, place them in a container like a Mason Jar and cover them with a small bottle of Brandy. I use a seven dollar size bottle, and add a little of the tasty fig juice to top the fruit, if they are not covered fully by the Brandy.
After three days, the fruit will be succulently pickled by the alcohol. To serve: Place one Black Mission Fig in a fruit pannicker or wine glass, and top with custard or fresh whipped cream.
I like making a low -calorie but delicious creme topping. The recipe is as follows:
In a saucepan combine a cup of 2% milk, a cup of Carnation condensed milk which has been diluted with a quart of water , and two tablespoons of coffeee whitener.
Mix together and heat, adding a capful or a small drop to taste of either vanilla or almond flavouring . When the mixture begins to form bubbles around the edge of the pan, as with heatd milk, pour some of the creme mix into a cereal bowl, half full.
Add two heaped tablespoons of cornstarch to the mixture, and whisk , making sure there are no lumps. Whisk the starch mix and creme mix together in the saucepan, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
Stir one minute and pour into a covered container to chill. Pour the chilled mixture over the delicious Black Mission Fig and serve. This creme is delightful on poires caramel as well.
The New Year is a time for "titheing " trees in Israel.
When the blessings are given,trays are laid out with selections of the following: Trays of wheat kernels, raisins, pomegranates,and carrot and melon seeds.Fifteen types of dried and fresh fruit and nuts are celebrated.
The First Fruits of Christ
Sunday, the Feast of the First Fruits was recorded by Moses, the original saviour of the Jews, as the day that the Red Sea separated, allowing fleeing Hebrew people to escape, while drowing the pursuing Egyptian army. The blessing and feast is always given on the Sunday after Passover, during Eastertime.
The purpose of the blessing is to watch over the future harvest, and a sheaf of wheat or barley is waved by the priest while a prayer for the watch over the future harvest is said. very important for we country people!
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