4 cups dates, cut-up
2 cups nuts, chopped
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cup hot water
Boil water in a kettle. Set oven at 350 degrees F. Grease 4 small (5 x 3-inch) loaf pans and flour lightly and evenly.
Cut dates in half. Break nuts, but not too small. Pour 2 cups boiling water over the date and nut pieces and let stand while mixing the batter.
Cream the shortening in a bowl, adding brown sugar gradually.
Sift flour and salt together twice. Break eggs, one at a time, into the shortening mixture. Add baking soda to dates and nuts. Stir flour and fruit mixture alternately into creamed batter. Stir gently; mix quickly. Stir in another 2/3 cup water and fold in. Pour into pans and bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick tested in the center comes out clean and dry.
Turn out of pans to cool. This is better the next day and even better the next week.