Thursday, February 05, 2004

A land of wheat and barley, grape and fig and pomegranate; a land of oil-yielding olive and [date] honey.
-- Deuteronomy 8:8

Tomorrow night begins Tu B'Shevat, New Year's day for the trees. Though not all of the "seven species" of Deuteronomy 8:8 grow on trees, the verse is often associated with the holiday. I decided that it might be fun to have a "seven species" theme for this week's Shabbat dinner. As usual, I planned the menu far in advance. DH is standing by, ready to take orders.

The meal will, of course, begin with wine and challah, which will take care of of wheat and grapes. But that's too easy, so I thought I'd make whole wheat challah with raisins, just to press the point.

Next, there will be gefilte fish and salad with balsamic vinaigrette made with extra-virgin olive oil. Then we'll have Grandma's vegetable-barley soup. (We picked up the soup-after-fish practice from Chabad.) Our entree will be pomegranate chicken with garlic and mint, and the side will be brown rice with whatever embellishments DH feels like adding. For dessert, I am preparing rolled cookies with fig and date filling. I asked our guests to bring some fruit so we'd have something fresh that actually came from a tree.

I don't know why this sort of thing excites me, but it does. It's nice to have some reprieve from reality.

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