My maternal grandmother was legendary for two things, date bread and chocolate chip cookies. We called her Sweetie Pie because she was uncomfortable with people knowing she was a grandma. She was glamorous most of her life, with a petite figure and plenty of curly artificially colored red hair. She was one of the rare divorcees of her time, and she had plenty of dates but no second marriage. When Sweetie Pie was at our home or we were at hers in Chicago, we ate her delicious home-made cookies and date bread. Later she moved to Sturgeon Bay to be near us as we grew up.
Her date bread recipe was in her head and not on paper. At one time my mother tried to get it in written form. Mother said that Sweetie Pie wasn’t specific about how much she used of most ingredients, so Mother patiently asked her, “How much flour, a teaspoon or ten cups? How many eggs?” and so on. Here is the result for my family and everyone else.
1 cup dates 1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda 1 heaping teaspoon butter
1 cup boiling water 2 eggs
1 cup nuts 2 cups flour
Cut up the dates. Add soda and water. Cool. Cream butter and sugar. Beat eggs and add. Pour date mixture on this and blend. Add nuts and flour. Pour into buttered loaf pan with wax paper on bottom. Bake at 300 degrees about one hour or until done. Remove from pan immediately.