One food item that says Christmas to me more than most of the others is my Grandma Lyons' Date Nut Bread. The different part of this memory is that it involves my mom making the recipe more than Grandma. She used to start saving soup cans in the fall, then fill them up with this batter, and give the little loaves wrapped in tin foil with a red ribbon as Christmas gifts to everyone.
I have invested in some mini-loaf pans and am trying to continue this tradition. I made 15 mini loaves for our school's bake sale, and I am running to the Big Little town today to get more supplies and try to knock a hole in my Christmas shopping list. While I don't make the sauce to go with the mini loaves, I will be making big loaves this week AND making the sauce to go with it because it is just TO.DIE.FOR., and I have a Lyons Christmas gathering to attend. Yes, it will cost you a few calories, but warm it up and pour some on your bread, and you just won't care, or you can dance for joy and start working off some of the sugar!
Call me old-fashioned, but I usually like to chop things up by hand. It's good therapy. So I start by shopping up the dates.
Add the baking soda
Then the boiling water.
Here I am, again going back to the easy way at least for me, sifting flour
Mix it all together. Looks like I forget to show you the nut-chopping step!
Fill up the "well greased" pans. I used the baking Pam can. Sorry Grandma!
And POOF! These lovely loaves are ready to be wrapped and delivered. You can buy small containers and include the sauce in the gift giving, but for a bake sale, I opted not to do this step.
Ok, now rush out there and find some dates and pecans to chop and get baking! Only 12 days until Christmas! DANG! Now I am going to have Lords Leaping and Maids a Milking in my head!
Speaking of Maids a Milking (that WAS kind of slick wasn't it!?!?!), head on over to their blog for even more great baking ideas because it's Tuesday, and that's when they turn into Two Maids a Baking! My pal Jen at Mess Hall to Bistro is also sharing great recipes on her Made from Scratch Tuesday Blog. Happy baking!