Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm a firm believer in meaningful necklaces (and date bars)

Woo hoo! We have finished uploading everything that matters from At First Glass to Pluot; this is the most recent thing I was talking about there, in January 2014, before the bottom fell out and I lost my domain name. I think I've figured out what happened: in order to maintain my domain, I would have had to have an iPad, or something that downloads apps. Without an app, I couldn't authorize domain renewal. 

It may be this is the best thing that ever happened to At First Glass anyway. I've purged the dross and re-booted Pluot with an even 500 good posts, 494 published and 6 drafts. Welcome back, my fatheads.

... just like the simple little flat gold disk Tina Fey wears in 30 Rock. What does it mean? the viewer wants breathlessly to ask. She could probably afford diamonds and rubies. I have long wanted a meaningful necklace of my own; the trouble is that religious symbols are unsubtle and the usual gold heart for Mom is so, well, -- usual. So "Mother's Day."

By sheer luck amid all the holiday catalogs that came to the house this season, I found one called Femail Creations that sells this. I couldn't resist. It has to do with two of my favorite things, silver and robins.

Image from Femail Creations

And it's meaningful because it makes you think not only of robins but of course of spring, and new life, hope and safety and everything. And there are three blue eggs. Proudly handmade in the U.S. I'm all for that, too.

Now you may have a retro Date Cake Bar, circa 1963. This would have been just about the year that Sean Connery was making Dr. No. We enjoyed the movie on New Year's Eve, according to old family custom, and that in turn prompts us to venture to YouTube for a lark, to listen to old James Bond themes. Here we revisit Carly Simon's beautiful voice caressing "Nobody Does it Better," which -- which somehow makes us feel we could climb mountains. But first, the date bar.   


These rich little cakes are called "Date Bars I" in The Art of Making Good Cookies Plain and Fancy, written by Annette Laslett Ross and Jean Adams Disney in 1963. Full of cinnamon, they will likely remind you of snickerdoodles, enriched with dates and nuts, too. They aren't terribly sweet and so make a nice breakfast indulgence.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 inch square pan. Have ready:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dates, chopped and pressed down to measure
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
Beat the eggs with the sugar until smooth and thick. Stir in the melted butter. Sift together the dry ingredients, and then add them to the egg mix. Stir in the dates and nuts. Pour into the pan (the batter is thick and will need spreading). Bake about 30 minutes, cool slightly, cut into squares, and dust with powdered sugar.

Serve with a glass of champagne, because I refuse to believe we can't drink champagne with desserts. Wait for spring.

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