Please read the full article: Tu Bishvat in Candy Land at Kveller.com.
At Kveller, I shared my take on Edible Dirt for Tu B’Shevat, plus some ideas on how to use fruit-shaped candies.
Runts and Nitwitz are colorful, fake-fruit sugar bombs that my kids like to play with more than they like to eat. And they are quite fetching as proportionally-sized tree fruits for Playmobil and Barbie festivities.
Fruit Shakers are bigger (see the picture), and are actually gumballs filled with tiny, rattling, candy “seeds.” Of course, I plant these seeds in the Edible Dirt… But you’ll see all that in the article. This post is just an excuse to include more photos.
Nutritional Disclaimer: Remember Passover all-chocolate seders? De rigeur at some point of Jewish middle school, high school or college life. Well, my little Tu B’Shevat snactivities aren’t nearly as sugary as a blow-out chocolate seder. So please don’t scold me for contributing to childhood obesity. Everything in moderation. Besides, I’m not selling a 15-course Tu B’Shevat seder (although I admit, I’m interested). This is just a snack, y’all. Well, dessert, really. Once a year.
Links, plus blurts of meticulousness:
My Tu B’Shevat Posts that don’t involve artificial colors, flavors or added sugar:
Eat a Fruit, Plant its Seeds for Tu B’Shevat
Barbie: Here are links to Tefillin Barbie and Computer Engineer Barbie, whom I adore, and the fact that they were created by the “first woman in modern times to have written an entire Torah” makes me love them even more. My so-called Hadassah Barbie is not affiliated with Tefillin Barbie in any way, except as a tribute (Hi, Jen!). The above 1958 Barbie was a hand-me-down from my sister. I still have all the outfits and killer accessories. She should be wearing a head-covering, given the time period and context, but let’s imagine it’s out of the frame.
Other mini-fruit holiday opportunities: The tiny fruit-shaped candies are also good for decorating an edible sukkah on Sukkot, and can be used to represent “first fruits” (bikkurim) at Shavuot.
Runts aren’t, Nitwitz are. Fruit Shakers are. Oreos are—hallelujah— and if you haven’t seen Marjorie Ingall’s article about Oreos and kashrut and culture, see it now.
If you are concerned about a terra-cotta pot—produced God-knows-where out of God-knows-what—employed as a container for food, then for heaven’s sake, use a Dixie Cup and call it a day.
(I’ve read that only the glazed terracotta pots might contain lead. But don’t mind me. I give my kids candy.)