Sticky Fingers


Dates are big here. They serve them with coffee and tea and they are frequently given as gifts. They have all different kinds. Some of the grocery stores even have entire date bars. I've been wanting to make something out of them. I meant to get just plain dates but ended up with candied ones by mistake, so getting the pits out and chopping them up was a big sticky mess. The Date Nut & Spice bread I made turned out pretty good though!
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Baking here has been full of frustrations. Between all the ingredients being different than what I'm used to, vanilla extract is hard to come by because it has alcohal in it, they call cane sugar brown sugar - it took me a little while to find the real stuff (thankfully my grandmother sent me some though so I'm set for a while!), and baking soda is only found under the name sodium bicarbonate. PLUS, our oven seems to be tempermental. Sometimes the top coil decides not to pull its weight and therefore things don't brown the way they should, but the bottom coil is pulling double duty so it burns the bottom of whatever you're baking.
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I took my cousin Molly's advice though and doubled up the bread pan, plus the top coil seemed to want to cooperate with the date bread, so it turned out great! (yay!) I've been hooked on this gingerbread tea and the date bread is great with it. Its been fun baking/cooking while I'm not working. Soon that'll all be over though and we'll be back to simple/frozen foods, unless Jason wants to start cooking :)
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Here's the recipe to the DATE NUT AND SPICE BREAD I made, if anyone is interested. I have another recipe for the same bread that I'm going to try next to compare.
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Check out Molly's blog if you're interested in all things baking! She's a pastry chef in training and one of my best friends. Plus her blog is really cute ;)

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