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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Medjool Dates

Good Morning.

"They arrived yesterday!"

"What arrived?"

"The Medjool Dates from California."


For years we spent the winter in Yuma Arizona. Just across the Colorado River is Winterhaven and Bard California with acres and acres of date gardens. We would go over to Winterhaven/Bard every few weeks and get some yummy dates. Then, when it was time to go home to Wisconsin, we'd take anywhere from 11 to 22 pounds with us for family and friends. Alas, this spring we didn't have room to take any dates home. Now it is fall, and we really miss those dates.

A quick phone call to Joy Mueller, one of our favorite growers, and presto there are the dates via UPS! Contact Joy at Ranchero De Lux, 1452 Parkman Road, Winterhaven, CA 92283 (760)572-0168 FAX (760)572-5075 for prompt service. Ranchero De Lux dates are Organic and beautiful as well as delicious. Several grades are available. Organic dates are about $9.00 per pound in a health food store. You can order new crop direct from the grower for about half that price. Give her a call and tell her Carol Connors sent you.
Folks in the Midwest aren't used to buying beautiful dates that you can just eat as a piece of fruit. They are used to buying squished together dates that use use for baking. So, if you are from that area, try eating one before you start baking. However, if you must bake, here is an old family recipe from my Aunt Ruth who lived just shy of her 99th birthday! Enjoy your dates both ways.

Brown Date Bread
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
2 cups boiling water
1 cup dates
1/2 cup nutmeats
1 teaspoon vanilla
Method: cut up dates, add soda and pour boiling H2O* over and let cool while creaming sugar, shortening and eggs.
Then add flour, dates, nuts and vanilla
Fill 8 beer cans*-greased-1/2 full. Bake 50 to 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
--Ruth Mildred Hein
*That's water and use any cans you like as these days beer cans and soup cans are not conducive for baking. Cans make nice, round loaves!

Enjoy another beautiful fall day.

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