This is a quick, easy snack to whip up when you realise you have guests arriving in an hour or so. It can be served warm or cold, and also freezes well for later lunches.
1 cup dates, chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon butter
1.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Put dates, butter and soda into a bowl. Pour boiling water over and mash slightly. Mix with flour and baking powder, pour into a loaf tin and bake about 50 minutes at 200 degrees C (400 degrees F). Serve with butter.
Optional: you could add some walnuts (or other nuts) for added flavour and crunch.