tangram dreidel toast
A tangram toast dreidel may prove to be my least popular post, but as I tell my children, you gotta be you, even if no one wants to be around the you you gotta be. Continue reading
I give you an edible dreidel that actually spins. It shares the chief values of the marshmallow dreidel and my mini-marshmallow dreidels—values which lie in the building, the writing upon (with food-safe markers) and the eating. To these attractions, the caramel dreidel adds the bonus of spin. Continue reading
Sufganiyah on a String (the doughnuts aren’t here yet)
We set up for the big ol’ Chanukah Carnival today (my synagogue’s spelling, not mine), and I’m posting the pics below so you can see a few of the stations. Continue reading
Apparently, I have more to say about the Edible Sukkah. The big thing is that most folks skip the first and crucial step: to “glue” (with frosting, Nutella, whatever) a floor cracker to the plate. This anchors the whole structure, it gives the walls something to stick to, and it significantly reduces the frustration factor for little kids. Building a sukkah should be a treat, not a trial. Continue reading
There is no substitute for slow food, and for making slow food slowly with kids. Yada, yada, yada all the practical life experience and developmental skills: fine motor, following directions, reading, math, geometry, sequencing,
vocabulary, etc. etc. Make it Jewish holiday slow food and you’ve got a content-rich, unforgettable Jewish education lesson plan.
Like Hamantaschen. There is a world of slow Hamantaschen recipes out there: the soft, the crunchy, Continue reading
coconut topping, tree nuts, fruit fresh and dried
Last fall, I wrote about the kid-version of edible apple bowls used as a Rosh Hashanah honey dish. Apple bowls are easy to adapt for Tu B’Shevat. You and your child can hollow an apple—the paradigmatic tree fruit—and fill it with tree fruit salad. It’s easy with a melon-baller, and the only trick is not to get too energetic and pierce the peel from the inside. Kids can even prepare the fruit for the thematic contents using double-handled apple slicer/corer combos and Montessori-style slicing tools. Continue reading
Fruit Shakers, Runts, and gummy worms
I wrote an article about using candy as an “enrichment” activity for Tu B’Shevat at Kveller.com: Tu Bishvat in Candy Land. Do read it. The hate mail I received as a result of the article indicates that the haters did not read it, else they would have learned that I do not propose that candy representations of actual tree fruit should replace traditional observance of Tu B’Shevat. Nor do I think that to let kids crush Oreos to produce “Edible Dirt” is an acceptable alternative to planting real seeds in real dirt. The word “enrichment” is a clue, my vigilant friends. Continue reading
- earliest spring leaves emerging now
In How (and Why) to Let Kids Plant Parsley on Tu B’Shevat, I nattered on about the meaning behind growing parsley on the Birthday of the Trees. Because, really, isn’t it weird that a parsley project is the go-to activity for a holiday about trees? But in a nutshell, the big idea is this: to germinate parsley on Tu B’Shevat links the earliest of Spring holidays—when the sap/lifeforce begins to wake after winter—and Passover, the paradigmatic Spring holiday. Parsley is Spring on a seder plate. It is the most common representation of the karpas category, without which a seder can’t happen. Makes perfect sense, this link and its timing, but still, tree it ain’t. (Well, a curly parsley stalk does rather look like a miniature tree.)
Better we should grow a tree on the Birthday of the Trees, yes? And what if the tree could be an olive or date or fig or pomegranate: four of the Seven Species of the Land of Israel (Deut. 8:8), the rock stars at a Tu B’Shevat seder? How brilliant to grow an olive tree especially, whose fruit could give us oil to light Hanukkah menorahs. Or a an almond tree, the early bloomer celebrated in Israel on Tu B’Shevat. Or a citron tree to grow an etrog for Sukkot. Or a palm or willow or myrtle to harvest for our own lulav. Chills. Continue reading
Dark chocolate Hanukkah Gelt S’more
Hanukkah lasts eight days, eight looooong days. Gelt S’mores help keep things lively. Continue reading
When Hanukkah and Shabbat coincide, the challah deserves a thematic tweak. The preschooler and I made a big Menorah Challah and a few little Dreidels.
We learned that using food dye to color the “flames” orange is not worth the trouble. After the challah is baked, the food color merges with the golden egg wash. But it was fun to try, and now we have orange palms for the rest of the day. Continue reading
The classic Marshmallow Dreidel, with my mini version for older kids.
Marshmallow dreidels, regular and mini
Bump up the educatainment value with a food-safe marker and a printable guide to writing the 4 Hebrew letters (name of letter, what it stands for in Hebrew and English). Bump it up even more and make an Israeli dreidel for contrast: in Israel they use a Pey instead of a Shin. See below.)
Don’t you dare make these yourself and hand them out to kids. The whole point of edible Jewish crafts is that the kids do the making. You can be there, preferably, since another whole point of edible Jewish crafts is spending time together making Jewish things. Continue reading
Edible Torah: pretzel rods, fruit leather, Rolos.
Simchat Torah starts Thursday night. The “Rejoicing of the Torah” is a happy holiday, not surprisingly. Every week, Jews read a portion (parsha or sidra in Hebrew) from the Torah, and no matter which schedule we follow, we all finish and begin again on Simchat Torah. The moment the reader chants the last word of Deuteronomy and then the first word of Genesis is one of the highlights of the liturgical year. What are the last and first words? See below.*
At synagogue on Simchat Torah, there is plenty to keep the kids engaged and happy, especially at the evening service. Flag-waving, candy-scarfing kids can also carry toy Torahs on the noisy processionals (hakafot); beat kosher rhythm Continue reading
top view of child-made edible sukkah with Nitwit candies
Here are a few easy tips about making an edible sukkah from graham crackers and pretzel sticks. Way easier than my meticulous post with step-by-step instructions and photos from two years ago: Make a Kosher Edible Sukkah for the obsessively organized.
Construction: Honey Maid graham crackers are ideal. They break evenly into squares just the right size for building a cube sukkah on a dessert plate. Use the whole rectangle (5″ long) if you are building on a dinner-size paper plate. Yes, they are kosher. Buy a bunch and use them for Sukkot s’mores later. Generic brands crumble when they break, and you will end up with a box full of rejects.
Roof: Snyder’s Pretzel Sticks (kosher) are the perfect length to span a Honey Maid Graham Cracker cube sukkah. Not rods or dippers, but Sticks. This year, I could only find them packaged in individual, 100 calorie bags. If you build a sukkah Continue reading
yonah and the dag gadol
Yes, I know we don’t eat during Yom Kippur, but kids do, and my kid will be eating these. As will all the children at my syagogue’s young family service, right after they crawl through the Belly of the Whale (a play tunnel).
Kveller.com just published my post about repurposing a store-bought snack into an instant, Jewish holiday food.
I invite you to read it at Kveller: “A Whale of a Snack for Yom Kippur.” And, if it passes muster (or mustard), can you “like” it there, please, so that Kveller will know someone is reading it?
Meanwhile, there is still time to buy a bag of Bugles for another “Jewish” snack: edible shofars. Continue reading
Edible shofars straight from the bag
Bugles snacks from General Mills are the perfect mini-shofars.
Please see this brief article at Kveller.com, in which I list the merits and uses of Bugle shofars and lament the recent loss of kosher status. If you don’t keep strictly kosher, you are in luck! You get teeny, tasty shofar snacks for Rosh Hashanah!
“I Need Store-Bought, Thematic Snacky-ness, and I Need it Now!” (Raising Kvell post)
If you like the article, please mention it on the Kveller comments immediately below it. I would love to hear from you.
Shana Tova, and bon appetit!
Apples and honey as an edible craft
A version of this post was first published at Kveller.com: Edible Honey Bowl.
But here is my original version which is longer and more interesting…
This article supplements my Kveller.com piece about making Shavuot Mt. Sinai Muffins with kids.
And hey, the Jerusalem Post picked it up on JPost Weekly Schmooze!
Mt. Sinai Muffin, Jordan almond Tablets, coconut grass, Twizzler slice flowers and a few Lego Israelites
Edible Crafts are one of my favorite ways to prepare for and celebrate a holiday with kids. Shavuot has built-in festive foods like cheesecake and blintzes and all things dairy—great things to make with children. But, they take time. Continue reading
Tam Tam cracker s’more
I want my kids to think Passover is fun. What’s more fun than marshmallows and fire?
Edible Pretzel Basket for Purim
Of course the contents of a Purim Mishloach Manot basket are edible. But what if the actual basket was, too?
A Homeshuling post about kid-crafted Mishloach Manot containers that are eco-friendly, cheap and reasonably attractive utterly derailed my work schedule today. I stopped everything to try the idea I posted as a suggestion, to make an edible basket from pretzel dough. Continue reading