This post is dedicated to Chris, who introduced me to many delicious British dishes and puddings, including this lovely date and nut loaf
Thinking about the dishes I cook, and looking through my recipe file, it becomes clear that both represent a kind of diary, a map of my life. I discovered or invented each one of them at different stages in my life, and they are linked to different people who introduced me to them. This is true even if you just look through this blog. To mention just a few, at the very beginning of my blog, there are two Croatian dishes that my mother taught me, Cuttlefish Risotto and Venison Stew Hunter’s Style. Then, my memories from university: Chinese food and guacamole, that I learnt of my housemates and friends. The smell of garlic frying with ginger and chili remains one of my favourite aromas when cooking. Then there’s the lemon tart, that my boyfriend adores, and which reminds me of him. This makes me think that maybe when I crave for a certain type of food, I crave for a place, a time, a person, for how I felt in that moment, and not just for a taste, for a dish.
My cravings can be pretty whimsical, but I guess that’s the nature of cravings. Today, on this miserable, gloomy day, I feel like curling up in front of TV with a mug of tea, and slice of warm, buttered date and nut loaf. This may not be the desert that I would choose to eat were the world to end tomorrow, and I were granted one last wish to choose my final meal; however, this is just perfect right now.
I am sending this entry to Jennifer at The Domestic Goddess, who is hosting the Sugar High Friday (SHF) blogging event this time. The topic of this SHF is cravings. Jennifer will publish the round-up of all entries on 29th June. Do check it out!
DATE AND NUT LOAF
SOURCE: Chris, & Good Houskeeping Book
PREPARATION TIME: 15 – 20 min
COOKING TIME: 60 – 75 min
8 oz plain flour
1 level tsp. baking powder
4 oz margarine or butter
4 oz. of sugar
8 oz dates, chopped
2 oz. Walnuts, chopped
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 – 3 tbsps. Milk
1 egg, beaten
1. Grease and flour a loaf tin measuring 8 ½ x 4 ½ inches.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder. Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in the sugar, dates and nuts and make a well in the centre.
4. Melt bicarbonate soda in 2 tbsps of egg and milk. Add it to the well, and stir. Add more milk if necessary to achieve dropping consistency.
5. Put into the tin and level the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 60 – 75 min, until firm to touch at 180 C/gas mark 4.
6. Serve with butter and tea!
HINT: To check whether the cake is done, insert a squewer or a toothpick into the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done! If it is not, you’ll have to return the cake back to the oven!
NOTE: This time, I substituted some of the dates with Tesco’s Island Mix of dried fruits. The mix is pretty sweet, so it was necessary to reduce the amount of sugar.