National Date-nut Bread Day, I truthfully thought would be much easier to pull off than it was. After all, there are plenty of little fancy restaurants in this town, and many of them have their cute little signature nut breads. I figured that my wife and I could just pick one, go on a date there, and Ba-Da-Boom! Holiday covered! Ok, that’s a bad joke, but I really did think it would be easier than it was because every opportunity that I’ve ever had to stroll through my local Fresh Market, I’ve found at least seven variances of freshly baked “nut-bread” loaves. Of course, when I called them on National Date-Nut Bread Day, they had just freshly baked no such loaf.
Now, I’ve never baked bread before. In fact, I really don’t have a useful memory to fall back on as a point of reference for baking bread. My mother used to make homemade bread and pasta noodles when I was a kid, but since I’m a child of the 80’s those products were just pooped out of the new and trendy machines that were coming out every year at Christmas time. Each of these devices took up beucoups of square inches of kitchen counter space and were barely utilized twice per year.
None the less, since the bread machine was basically just an automatic kneader, I figured, “Hey, how hard could just making some bread be, right?” This I thought in spite of the fact that I’ve screwed up every single baking attempt that the “The List” has put forth thus far. Can you guess, then, how this one ends? Seriously, how would you guess my bread turned out? Did you come up with that the result would be a caved in mini loaf of prune-nut bread with an ooey-gooy center? Yeah, I didn’t see that coming either.
My first mistake, of course, was not being able to distinguish in my mind the difference between a prune and a date. Traditionally, I’ve been repulsed by either one, so I can see how this happened. It made me feel a little better that a search for “date prune” yielded several other people who really didn’t know the difference either. The search also yielded a dating website for young women looking to meet old me. Kidding. So, the consistency of the prune is likely a little different from a date. More juicy perhaps? I used a cup of those funky little prepackaged ones that had been sitting in my pantry since my wife was pregnant four months ago.
Still, I cooked that stupid loaf a whole fifteen minutes longer than the recipe directed. It should have turned the same as the muffins. Yes, muffins! I had exactly two muffins worth of extra ingredients, so I figured, what the hell? It was a good thing I did, too, because those muffins were light, sweet, and quite delicious! I’m pretty sure a date-nut muffin would have turned out relatively the same.
See you Tuesday for National Hot Cross Bun Day.