Friday, November 11, 2011

A Date a Day.

I happened to re-read an old post the other day, which I had rather whimsically called ‘LifeWith Dates’. In it I repeated the old saying that ‘there are as many ways of using dates as there are days in the year.’  The full import of this statement only sank in on my re-reading, and the inevitable challenge followed swiftly after. Can I find 365 sufficiently varied recipes for dates?

In the expectation that some of you, like myself, begin to over-stock their pantries with dried fruit at this time of the year, in anticipation of the approaching holiday season, only to find that a large quantity of last-years purchases still lurking at the back of the shelves, I thought this might be a useful, as well as an interesting project, although one not likely to be completed by the end of this season.

I have made a good start, thanks to a delightful booklet, simply called Date Cook Book, (Coachella Vally, California 1919) by  May Sowles Metzler. Here are my selections:

Date Souffle.
1 cup stoned dates ground fine, ½ cup powdered sugar, yolks of 3 eggs, beaten until light. Beat all together until very light, then fold in carefully the well beaten whites of 3 eggs. Turn into a baking dish, buttered and dusted with powdered sugar, and bake in a hot oven until well puffed and brown. Serve immediately.

Date Jelly.
Three quarter pound of dates. Stone, and boil in a little more than 1 quart of water. Strain through a fine strainer, rubbing through with a wooden spoon.
Boil syrup, adding as it thickens 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 ounce of gelatine, 1 wine-glass of sherry (fruit juice may be used) a little lemon juice, and the grated rind.
Pour into a wetted mould, and garnish with shredded almonds.

Date Orange Curd.
Juice and grated rind of 1 orange
1 tablespoonful lemon juice
¼ cup butter
¼ cup sugar
Yolks of 2 eggs well beaten.
Mix thoroughly, put in a double boiler over hot water. Stir till thick like custard.
One half cup of finely-chopped dates stirred in. 

Quotation for the Day.

Men become passionately attached to women who know how to cosset them with delicate tidbits.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1859)


Liz + Louka said...

Dates make a great smoothie - there's a cafe in Willoughby (Sydney) that makes them. I don't have the recipe but I think they boil up dates with water and honey to make a puree then add milk/yogurt/icecream like any other smoothie.

Pipedreams said...

Call me dumb, but where is the date in the date orange curd?

Pipedreams said...

Call me dumb, but did I miss the date in the Date Orange Curd?

The Old Foodie said...

It is me that is dumb, Pipedreams. I would shoot the proof-reader, but it was me. All fixed now. Thanks for picking it up!

Natalie said...

I just stumbled upon your blog while researching gingerbread. I am in love with it. It's just wonderful.

Two comments about recent posts: one is my grandma has a treasured, treasured date bar recipe. It was the favorite treat at all bake sales and kids birthday parties--until you told people what was in it. No one likes dates, it seems.

Also, my ex-husbands grandma is the only woman I knew who made her own salt rising bread. So good. The bakery in the small town in Kentucky I lived in made it too. They had a poem--an ode to salt rising bread--on the wall. Well, I am now a loyal reader! Cheers!