A Quiet Tu Bishvat
My D.H. and I had a quiet Tu Bishvat (New Year for the Trees, on the 15th of the month of Shevat), just the two of us, at home. We had invited friends but they politely declined, admonishing me to rest--and they were right. However, the two of us didn't want to forgo a seder, so we decided to hold our own private little Tu Bishvat seder Friday night. Just the two of us.
My D.H. made roast chicken stuffed with oranges and clemantinas (clementines), which we had with side dishes of couscous, butternut squash and a special salad consisting of avocado, rimon seeds (pomegranates), grapefruit, clemantinas, and slivered almonds (I might have left something out). We conducted the Kabbalistic seder around the Shabbat seudah, starting with wine--this time, white wine, according to the standard Tu Bishvat seder where one begins with white wine and gradually reddens the wine until the last, fourth glass is all red, symbolizing the changing seasons.
We read the various p'sukim (verses) in the Tanach in their appropriate places, sang a few of them, such as the niggun (melody) I knew for the verse stating the seven species specific to the Land of Israel ("Eretz chita, u'seora, ve-gefen u'te-ena," etc.)
Interspersed throughout, and with the appropriate blessings, we had a sampling of those fruit, seeds and nuts of Eretz Yisrael, punctuated with drashot (homilies and short sermons) from our great sages of yesteryear.
The second of the species, barley, (the first was of course, ha'motzi--washing and blessing over the challah, or in our case, garlic bread), was the mushroom/barley soup my D.H. made--yum--with three or four types of mushroom.
Here is a sampling: we had fruit and nuts with hard outer shells which cannot be eaten, fruit with inner pits, fruit with both outer and inner shells and pits, and those fruit which are completely edible.
Wish I could show you the soup, and the platters my D.H. set up--but it was on Shabbat, so we couldn't take pictures. Here are some similar ideas. The second one down is a shot of an Israeli market selling those fruit used on Tu Bishvat.