You know those gifts that somebody gives you and you thank them and you all go on your merry way, only to realize later how incredibly AWESOME that gift really was? This was one of those. We were given a loaf of Date Nut Bread and I thought - "well thanks, very nice". It wasn't until I actually opened this 5 lb brick of a loaf, cut a careful slice and bit into it that I realized what a gift it was. The taste is delicious: sweet, salty, nutty, crunchy and yum! I'm sure the cake was a labor of love to make and an expensive one at that with all of those nuts. I had to have the recipe and the precious givers, Linda and Mario, were happy to share...well Linda was happy to share. Mario might have had other ideas. When he delivered the cake, he told my husband, "if you don't like it - that's okay, just give it back to me". That kinda intrigued me. I mean, these are generous and giving neighbors we are talking about, what's this about giving it back?? Turns out, this is his FAVORITE cake of all time and he just wanted to make sure it was appreciated and not haphazardly scarfed or tossed out. This cake is THAT good. I'm very grateful she twisted his arm because it was delicious - every last bite. I was a little hesitant to share it with my nut and date loving Dad, but it was his birthday, so I relented.
The recipe comes from an old cookbook, which are some of the ones that I most enjoy and least use. I think what throws me off is the lack of pictures. There aren't usually photographs of the recipes and that's what gets my attention. I know the recipes are delicious and I usually enjoy what I make from my older cookbooks, but I just don't do it enough. I figure I might reignite interest in these older cookbooks if I make a few recipes and take some (hopefully yummy looking) photos. I'm really working on my photographs. Everytime I see the one of the hot chocolate cones on pinterest I have to cringe - it's terrible! I did just get a new lens on a girls trip to NYC, I went to B&H photo. That place is amazing! There are at least 47 check out registers - it's busy and big like the rest of Manhattan. Anyway, the lens I got promises to make my food tastier looking, fresher, healthier and all around yummier - that's what the sales clerk told me - really!
Can't you see the delicious difference in this Date Nut Cake? I guess that's cheating since I didn't actually make this cake, but it does look amazing. So if you can spring for the pecans - or you have a pecan tree in the backyard, this is a cake you want to make. It will last a very long time in the fridge and you only need a little slice to go with a cup of fresh brewed coffee. It's perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I figure it has the nuts so you've got a little protein - that makes it as healthy as a power bar in my mind! It kinda reminds me of another loaf I just made with nuts and dried fruits in it, only that one I turned into crackers. I promise to share that recipe very soon, but for now enjoy Old Fashioned Date Nut Loaf.
Date Nut Loaf
from Farm Journal Christmas Book
1 c sugar
1/2 c oil
1 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 lb pitted chopped dates
4 c pecans
Combine eggs, sugar and oil in large bowl. Beat well. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and whisk to mix and sift flour. Add flour to egg bowl and mix well. Fold in dates and nuts. Dump in a greased and floured loaf pan. Put loaf in cold oven and then turn it on to 300 degrees. Bake for 2 hours and then cover loosely with foil. Bake for 15 more minutes.