April 30, 2004 at 10:14 a.m.
The plump golden (yes, they start out golden) fruit are left on the trees to dry in the summer sun and wind. The particular dates I was reading about came from Pakistan and I hope they don’t have flies or bugs flyin’ around during those summer months. Anyway, once the dates are dry they are harvested by hand, sorted, carefully inspected by the USDA then shipped, in this case, to Georgia, where they undergo more inspection and a heating process to stabilize the sugar content and give the dates an appealing, glazed look. They are packaged and then wind up on the shelves in the grocery store. If you aren’t too excited about my doing more date recipes, I apologize. I won’t do dates next week.
Have you eaten a scone or made them? They are just delicious with a hot cup of coffee or tea, or a tall glass of milk. They only take a few minutes to mix together and this recipe is fairly low in sugar.
DATE AND NUT SCONES
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1/3 c. milk or cream
3/4 c. chopped dates
1/3 c. slivered almonds, toasted (see note)
In large bowl, combine first four ingredients. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Separate one egg (save white). Lightly beat yolk and whole egg into milk; pour into flour mixture. Stir with fork until dough cleans sides of bowl. Stir in dates and almonds.
Knead dough on floured surface 10 times. Pat into 6-1/2 inch diameter circle. Cut circle into six wedges. Place one-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Lightly beat reserved egg white; brush on wedges. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Serve warm.
NOTE: To toast almonds spread them in one layer in a 9-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times until lightly toasted.
Also, the scones can be reheated in the microwave using 50 percent power for about 20 seconds for one.
Do you make a waldorf salad now and then? Try this recipe with dates added.
DATE WALDORF SALAD
1/2 c. cut-up dates
1 c. diced celery
1/3 c. coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1-1/2 c. diced, unpeeled apples
1/3 to 1/2 c. mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; stir gently. Serve in lettuce cups. Makes four servings.
Muffins are good anytime––for a snack, with a salad or bowl of soup, or just anytime.
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 c. flour
1 c. finely cut dates
In large bowl, mix egg, milk and oil. Mix in sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in flour until just moistened. Batter will be lumpy––do not over mix. Stir in dates.
Fill 12 muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
This date bar recipe is so easy to make. It starts with a cake mix.
CHEWY DATE NUT BARS
one 18-1/4 oz. package yellow cake mix
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
2 c. chopped dates
2 c. chopped walnuts
In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix and brown sugar. Add butter and eggs; beat on medium speed for two minutes. Combine dates and walnuts; stir into batter (batter will be stiff).
Spread into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around sides of pan to loosen. Cool completely before cutting. Makes three dozen.
Thought for the day: You know you’re getting older when the happy hour is a nap. That sounds pretty good right now.