This Cranberry Date Nut Bread was borne out of my lack of an essential ingredient for one of my mom’s old recipes. Every Christmas Mom made dozens of loaves of Apricot Date Nut Bread to give to the postman, the milkman (remember them?), the dry cleaners, teachers, neighbors, and anyone else who might be deserving of a fresh loaf.
With four kids Mom had plenty of hands to cut up the apricots and dates and chop the nuts. So every year we had our assembly line. Margaret, the oldest, was given the job of chopping the nuts because she could use a real knife. Us younger ones used small scissors to cut up the apricots and dates. We might not have been fast, but it was a big help to mom…or was it???
The first time this year that I was making the bread, I realized there were no dried apricots in the pantry, but I had lots of dried cranberries. So I thought, “why not?” And am I glad I did! I like the bread better with cranberries because the tartness is a nice counterpoint to the sugar in the bread. When eaten warm, the fruit is soft and sugary. Waiting until the bread cools (if you can!) you will taste more of the nuts.
If you’ve never given homemade goodies as a gift before, this Cranberry Date Nut Bread is a good one to start with. One recipe fills four small loaf pans…4 gifts!