Preparation / Directions:
Preheat oven to 325~F. Place dates, shortening, sugar, honey, vanilla extract, hot water and juice in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside 15 minutes. Add egg to date mixture. Mix well. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir only enough to moisten dry ingredients. fold in nuts. Turn batter into greased loaf pan. Bake 1 hour. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Let stand in pan 10 minutes after baking. Turn onto rack to cool. Cool before slicing. Can use greased 1-lb. coffee cans instead of loaf pans. Serve with cream cheese. From Merijoy Rucker of Alpharetta, who caters, teaches cooking classes and especially talented at baking breads.