Our daughter came in running, pulling us excitedly to come out and acknowledge her discovery. She had spotted a huge bird in the wood apple tree. It was a Crow Pheasant. Some years ago it was a common sight to see crow pheasants in the foothills. Loss of habitat has made it almost extinct. Spotting one after so many years was indeed a happy moment.
For the last two days we have been covering and labeling our daughter’s books and notebooks as she prepares to join the school. The task seems gargantuan even as our fingers work dexterously through covers and scissors but get fatigued after completing three at a time. Meanwhile our daughter squeals with joy as she flips through the pages of the new books and is amused by illustrations and stories some of which she is familiar with. A surge of anxiety grips me when I see the voluminous study material. Then I remember the assuring words of the Principal about going slowly and being selective about topics. I have to repose faith in her…….keeping aside my apprehensions, I get down to baking a vegan Date loaf cake that I had planned to. Whisking flours, chopping dates, and other chores crease out all the stress and a moist healthy cake has us all chomping the delicious slices during tea time.
Whole Wheat Date Walnut Loaf (Vegan)
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon mixed spice powder (4 cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 green cardamom, ¼ piece nutmeg)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and dust one 7x3 inch loaf tin. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Combine hot water, chopped dates and sugar in a large bowl. Cover and keep for 15 minutes. The dates will become soft. Mash them against the sides of the bowl with a spoon. Let the mixture cool. Add oil and vanilla essence.
- Whisk together flours, soda and spice mix.
- Add flour mix to date mix till well incorporated. Do not over mix. Fold in chopped walnuts.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Level the top and sprinkle some chopped walnuts.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Stand for 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack. Slice next day.
My Notes: Spices can be adjusted according to taste.