Salvaging Dates…

I’ve just opened a kilo of dates, only to find they have been grossly over-dried and are utterly inedible. There are two ways to go – send them back with a letter of complaint, or salvage them. It will cost more than they’re worth to return them (but the letter will be going – well, email, anyway), and the salvaging process has been under way for about 15 minutes.

The rubbery dates have been decanted into a non-stick pan, along with about 120g of molasses sugar, enough cold water to cover them, and bunged in the fridge so they don’t ferment as they soak.

Tomorrow, they’ll be simmered until soft, then pushed through a sieve to remove the leathery skins and stringy fibres, along with any stone fragments. The resulting purée, along with very finely chopped Clementine and lemon zest will go into a heavily-fruited and seasonally-spiced Spelt loaf, and if it’s a success, I’ll publish the recipe.

It does, though, all depend on whether I’m able to stand, or not. At the moment I’m limited to 2 or 3 minutes at a stretch before the pain’s too much. Luckily, bread is more about waiting than actual work, so we’ll see.

Anyway, do check back – if it’s humanly possible I will make it. If it’s not then the purée will freeze until I’m well enough

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