Jewish Journal

A Home in Nature

by Abby Gilad

Posted on Sep. 19, 2002 at 8:00 pm

On Sukkot, we eat and sleep in a hut called a sukkah. We can see the stars and feel the wind. It reminds us of how dependent we are on nature to survive. This is a holiday to remember that nature is dependent on us, too. What can you do? Grow a garden. Don't throw garbage into the ocean. Recycle. Love nature: hike in it, bike in it, swim in it!

Fruit of the Land

Y'know, it's easy to get food nowadays. Just go to the supermarket and pick out some stuff. It wasn't always so easy. People grew their fruits, vegetables and grain. If it didn't rain, or rained too much, their crops would be ruined and they wouldn't be able to eat. Dates and grapes -- two of the fruits we eat on Sukkot to remind us of the fruit that grows in the Land of Israel.

Date-Raisin-Walnut Shofar

1 package (8 ounces) pitted dates

1 cup raisins

1¼2 cup sugar, divided

1¼4 pound (1 stick) margarine,

cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

11¼2 teaspoons cinnamon

1¼2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup chopped walnuts

White decorating icing

in tube with writing tip

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a large baking sheet.

In a food processor with a metal blade, pulse dates, raisins and 1/4 cup sugar until coarsely chopped.

Remove to a seperate bowl.

Place margarine and 1/4 cup sugar in food processor and process until mixed. Add vanilla and eggs and process until blended. Add flour, cinnamon, salt and orange juice. Pulse in walnuts. Mix together with raisins and dates.

Here's the really fun part:

Remove dough to prepared baking sheet and shape it into a shofar about 17-inches long, 6 inches at its thickest point and 2 inches at its thinnest point.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned. It will feel soft in the center, but will firm up as it cools.

To decorate:

Several hours before serving, write L'Shana Tova with white decorating icing across shofar.

Makes 16 servings.

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