my great grandma (on my mother's side) always made sweet date nut bread for holidays. as a child i didn't fully appreciate the bread (passing it up for frosted sugar cookies and other Christmas treats) but now it's one of my favorite things to bake! and bonus it's healthy-ish too (with no butter and only 1 tablespoon of shortening) the majority of the fat is found in the nuts (but that's good fat, right?!)
METHOD: pour boiling water over dates and let stand while preparing other ingredients. beat egg until light (i used 1/4 cup of liquid eggs as a sub and shook the carton instead of beating). add sugar gradually and sift together flour (don't have a sifter? whisk flour in a separate bowl and measure again). add sifted (or whisked) flour with baking soda and baking powder. stir in nuts (i used macadamia nuts but this tastes great with walnuts too!) add the dates (with water) to the rest of the mixture. add the egg, stir in the shortening and vanilla. pour into a 10 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. after baking store in the fridge - it taste great cold.