I’m doing a Marie Kondo on my pantry when I find a brick of dried dates. It’d been shoved deep into the recesses of my corner cupboard. As I settle back on my heels, I reconsider decisions made in my kitchen design.
“You have two choices,” my kitchen designer said. “You can install a custom built Lazy Susan which would make everything accessible. Or you can save money and get more storage space.”
I chose more storage space.
Fifteen years later I’m discovering that this cupboard is a black hole. It’s deep and dark enough that if I push stuff in, it disappears and becomes virtually irretrievable.
Unless of course, I channel Marie Kondo and climb right in.
So … this brick of dates. I must have purchased it shortly after the kitchen reno. Thunk. Thunk. It’s as hard as a concrete block. I wonder if it’s still good. Dates last forever right?
I drop the brick into a pan of hot water and leave it for an hour. Miraculously, it softens and starts to separate. I take a sniff. It smells OK. A taste. It’s fine.
In it goes into a Data & Walnut loaf.
The baked loaf is surprisingly good. Tender and slightly sweet with the delicate scent of caramel, spice and nuts. Fresh from the oven it reminds me of Sticky Toffee pudding. It stays fresh and moist the next day too. I would make it again.
Now, I wonder what I can do with my other retrievals from the black hole. Four cans of smoked oysters and a bottle of tapenade.
DATE & WALNUT LOAF
250g Chopped Dates
250g Boiling hot water
90g Butter, melted
1 Egg, beaten
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
Zest of half a lemon
Walnuts, as much or as little as you want
Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare a standard 9×5 loaf pan.
Pour boiling water over chopped dates. Add butter and let sit until cooled.
Mix together all the dry ingredients.
Add beaten egg, lemon zest and vanilla to the cooled date mixture.
Mix the liquids with the dry ingredients until just moistened. Do not over mix.
Pour into greased loaf pan and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until done.
Toronto, Canada. May 2020