Cherry Saturday, December 22, 2028

It’s Date Nut Bread Day.

Usually I’m all in on baked goods, but this one is fraught.  For starters, dates are too sweet for me.  And then there’s the bad flashbacks to the Christmases of my youth when the stuff was everywhere along with an egg nog I wasn’t allowed to have that had some guy’s name on it, a name I am now unable to recall.  My German family was full of heavy drinkers who didn’t like each other, so our dinners seethed with starch and repressed anger, and then there was date nut bread for dessert.  Although there was also pumpkin pie and I still like pumpkin pie, and I love nut bread in general, so maybe it’s just the dates after all.

Happy holidays.  

24 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, December 22, 2028

  1. Never heard of date nut bread, and you haven’t sold me on it. I am planning to treat myself to some Medjool dates for Christmas, though.

    I’m hoping to find the energy to finish decorating my tree and tidy my living area. Also – and first – to go for a walk, since there are sunny intervals out there. I vegged out yesterday: I’m feeling exhausted, which isn’t surprising. But I would like to experience some fresh air today, which means getting off this couch and into some clothes.

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  2. I have almost never eaten dates. Perhaps once or twice, and as far as I remember, I wasn’t that impressed. In Sweden, figs are more common Christmas oddities. I quite liked them, but don’t think I’ve eaten any since I moved to my own place.
    Mum also used to have a bowl of hazelnuts and walnuts that we could crack. I have never managed to crack a walnut without splitting it in at least 3-4 pieces or more. But on the other hand, I don’t really like them anyway so they can go all splintery if they must.

    When Spanish Guy was here last weekend, he brought some traditional Spanish Christmas…sweet things (that I don’t know the name of) that mostly consist of nuts. Two of the three also had a lot of egg and sugar in them, veeeery sweet and kinda squishy things. You know that kind of sweet that makes your jaws double-lock and cramp? Can you feel it? That kind, yes. The hard one was also sweet, but not too sweet, and quite nice so I’m gonna go snatch a piece of it right now. Goes perfectly with a steaming cup of tea and a book. 🙂

    Have a great Saturday everyone!

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  3. We had an unusually warm day yesterday, low 60s, but today she is forecast. A trip to the bookstore may happen instead of the usual Saturday walk.

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  4. I buy a date nut bread mix that I make about twice a year mostly in the fall/winter and when it is on sale. So good with more than a smear of cream cheese and not that cream cheese spread. Bleh! The real deal cream cheese. The kind if your not careful will break apart the slice when spreading.

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    1. I gotta ask. What differentiates a cream cheese spread from the kind of hard cream cheese of which you speak? I assume if it says “spread” on the container, it is the very spread you disdain. But what of, for instance, Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese that comes in a box containing a foil-wrapped brick? Is that the real deal?

      Personally, I’m quite fond of the jalapeno cream cheese in the tub, smeared all over my mini-bagel. It’s probably a spread – I don’t have a tub handy to examine (nor a mini-bagel, alas.) And my mini-bagels have to be Food Lion or Pepperidge Farm, not Thomas’s. Fewer calories, carbs and sodium, just as delicious.

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      1. It’s a matter of taste, Gary, if it says cream cheese spread in bold lettering stay far away. And brand name so it’s Philly for me but having said that Philly has a tub of cream cheese that has Original and No Artificial Flavors on the label but underneath written in small lettering is cream cheese spread. To me that has a pretty good flavor for my taste buds. Now I’m in the mood for making cream cheese and chopped olives on celery. Maybe I’ll add a bit of chopped cherry pepper, too.

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  5. Date nut bread “sandwiches” (just two slices of the bread with cream cheese between them) at a diner was my treat when I was a little kid and had to go to the doctor’s office (which was an all-day affair, and frequent).

    I’d been thinking about it recently, and made date nut bread last week, but it’s not what I remember. Not dark enough and just kind of blah. And it was an online recipe with lots of positive reviews, so maybe it’s just me and the distortion of nostalgia.

    5+
  6. Huh. What makes these types of loaves, a bread? Is there yeast in the recipe? How is this not a date nut cake? How does banana bread come to be, but not banana cake?

    Stuff that goes through my head. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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    1. Not all breads are yeast breads. Cake is lighter and not chewy; you drop a date nut loaf on your foot, you’re gonna limp for awhile. Okay, maybe not limp, but you’ll feel it hit.

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    2. There is such a thing as banana cake. I have made my mother’s recipe for it for several years. (And it is quite delicious!)

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    3. They’re quick breads — not yeast-raised, but made with baking soda / baking powder. I think they date back to about the turn of the century, because there are recipies for them in my cookbook A THOUSAND WAYS TO PLEASE A HUSBAND (with Bettina’s best recipies). Bettina normally served them, usually with butter or cream cheese filling, as part of a ladies’ luncheon or with afternoon tea, or on a picnic supper.

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    4. You’ve never made banana cake?!? I want to put that in capitals. It was a staple of baking in my house growing up. With either lemon icing or chocolate icing.

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      1. Vanilla sponge, vanilla cupcakes, fruitcake, and biscuits aka cookies. That’s my range. Served me well.😉

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  7. I have a very good recipe for date nut bread from a fifty year old cookbook. You soak the chopped up dates and baking soda in hot water before adding to the other ingredients. The quick bread is really moist and will not cause injury if dropped on an appendage. I love this spread with real cream cheese to accompany a citrus fruit salad.

    I think the quality of the dates and nuts you use makes a real difference in the taste. I use the medjool dates and Diamond brand walnuts.

    Now I’m hungry.

    7+
  8. I’ve never cared for date nut bread (or banana bread either, heretic that I am) but the best pairing of dates and nuts is to shove a pecan inside a date. It’s rather difficult to prepare enough for a party without eating them all.

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  9. I used to love fig newtons (cookies for those who don’t recognize the name) when I was young. The proper way to eat one was to nibble the crust from around the edges first and then finish it off. 😉

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  10. This thread has brought back a repressed memory. When I was a child (a long time ago) my aunt used to get date nut bread THAT CAME IN A CAN and make a sandwich by slicing two pieces of the canned stuff and putting cream cheese in the middle. She viewed this as a real treat. She did at least use the real stuff for cream cheese.

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    1. It was traditional to back some breads, including that one, in baking powder cans — or probably some other can. Lots of them were steamed, steamed in a pressure cooker, or made in a fireless cooker (haybox).

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  11. No date nut bread for me. I do not like it, Sam-I-Am.

    Baked goods… I recently went through a package of Pepperidge Farms Apple Turnovers covered in sugar-free Cool Whip. One at a time, because that’s how I roll. (If I keep eating turnovers, roll is how I’ll walk, too.)

    No. No more apple pies or turnovers or apple spice cake. I’m still diabetic, and Those Don’t Help.

    But…

    Power was out just before I left for work Friday afternoon, so I didn’t open the fridge. I stopped at a grocery store and got some meat and veggies to prepare at work, instead. My daughter said we were powerless less than an hour, so I don’t have to toss anything.

    This afternoon, I opened the fridge and found a slice of cheesecake. My daughter is Keto dieting, so I know there won’t be any sugar, just maybe stevia and a sugar alcohol which do not affect glucose or insulin levels. It’ll be there when I get home tonight, I ‘spect. I have to eat it before it goes bad.

    Then, when I take my daughter to dinner tomorrow – another Sunday, always – I’ll ask her politely not to feed me baked goods.

    3+
  12. My Mom is making the family fruitcake recipe for Christmas. It is not a fruitcake like most Americans would think of. It is made with applesauce, dried dates and raisins. My mom is including dried cherries this time, just because.
    It was my parents’ wedding cake and I included it as one of the layers in my wedding cake. The baker asked if she could keep the recipe, as it was the first cake her husband really liked.

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    1. This sounds so much nicer than my grandmother’s fruitcake! That really would cause an injury if you could lift it up high enough to drop on something. My grandfather’s solution was to pour rum and custard on it. Ugh.

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  13. Growing up, my mom made date nut bread regularly, along with banana nut bread. My sister and I liked it best when she included “sandwiches” made with them in our lunch boxes. Instead of cream cheese, she would butter each side, then put a slice of Cheddar cheese in the middle. Her date nut bead was excellent, probably because the town of Indio was not far from where we lived, and fresh dates were easily found to use. I’ve got my mom’s recipes, but using supermarket plastic-packed dates does not yield my mother’s results.

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