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Posts Tagged ‘date’

Someone asked me recently for a low-fat traybake. Most of my cooking isn’t terribly healthy – I prefer to have a small slice of something delicious rather than a large wedge of something worthy. However, sometimes deliciousness and worthiness can combine, as is the case with these fantastic Date and Coconut Chews.

I was given this recipe by my friend Summer after we spent a very happy day off on a walk with her and her Vicar husband. We took a picnic lunch with us. I brought soup and Summer brought various treats including these. I’m not normally a fan of dates, but these slices are wonderful – chewy and sweet but full of fruit and coconut, which I think cancels out the butter and golden syrup.

Ingredients

  • 6oz/170g plain flour
  • 3 oz/85g dessicated coconut
  • 6oz/170g stoned dates, chopped
  • 6oz/170g caster sugar
  • 3oz/85g butter (you could use hard marg, but butter is tastier, isn’t it?)
  • 2 teaspoonfuls (1 dessertspoonful) golden syrup
  • 1 egg, beaten

Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup (I always do this in the microwave, but you can do it on the stove aswell). Stir the dry ingredients together then add the hot butter mixture and the egg. Mix everything well and then spread out in a lined 9″x11″ (23cmx28cm) tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180ºC (Gas 4, Fan 170ºC).

When cooled a little, cut into 24 slices. I did a little maths and reckon that each slice has about 3.5g of fat. This isn’t quite low enough to classify as ‘Low Fat’ in the US , but I think it’ll do.

[Late Edit: A Twitter pal tells me he's tried this recipe using prunes instead of dates and rice flour in the place of plain and that it worked really well. Good for those on a gluten-free diet then.]

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Thank you everyone for voting in the Great Tree Date Debate. The results show that there is very little consensus! So now I feel better about not waiting until Christmas Eve – there doesn’t seem to be an official Anglican position on this. And reminds me that we ought to go out and get our tree, seeing as the Engineer’s birthday has now passed. We’ll be heading out sometime this week. Or I’ll be sending the Vicar out with the roofrack, anyway.

In the meantime we’re still wondering what to do with the white fibreoptic tree that someone left on our doorstep this weekend. It’s used, with some tinsel and baubels. And we’ve not yet tracked down the donor. Another Vicarage mystery.

Answer Votes
Other (see below)
22%
Last Sunday before Christmas
18%
When I can be bothered
16%
24th December
15%
1st December
11%
First day of school holidays
11%
Advent Sunday
6%
I hate Christmas trees & don’t have one
1%

The other answers show us how many people are blessed with December birthdays!

Other Answers Votes
Birthday driven

ASAP after 5th December (younger son’s b’day)
after 19th. sons birthday
Like the engineer on my birthday the 8th!
The weekend before my birthday (7th Dec)
Another December birthday here so sometime after the 3rd…but down on 2nd Jan!
6.5%
Organisation driven

Sometimes we do – sometimes we don’t. Depends on time
When we get organised
when we have time
Somewhere between ‘when I mean to’ and Christmas Eve
When we are fed up to hear Im nagging Steven to get it down!
When I can persuade my husband that he can’t put it off any longer!
6.5%
Other dates

17th December
10th
in time for the first carol service
Earlier than when did not have children.
last saturday before christmas
the day the children break up
8%
And finally

We don’t have one but we don’t hate them.
1%

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A small debate began on Twitter last night that I thought I’d like to expand. When do you put your Christmas tree up? Is it a symbol of Advent or of Christmas itself?

My family were always pretty disorganised and the tree would not go up until Christmas Eve. Although since the Twitter discussion, where there some pretty strong proponents of Christmas Eve tree decorating, I’m not sure that it was only because of disorganisation.

Since I got married, in a spirit of marital compromise (the Vicar comes from an early tree family), the tree has gone up earlier, and now the official date is as soon as we’ve bought our tree (always real, natch) and as early as possible after the Engineer’s birthday, which is 5th December. So this year, we may spend the afternoon of the Engineer’s birthday purchasing the tree, and possibly even decorating it.

I’m actually quite keen on having the tree up early now. I enjoy having the twinkling lights up through Advent, and especially since we have festive events in the Vicarage. We also have our Jesse Tree, of course, to take the kids through the story of the first  Advent of Christ. And the nearer to Christmas, the bigger the flap in the Vicarage. It’s a busy season for Vicars, you know…

So what do you think? Leave a comment if you’d like to explain!

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