Deliciously Delectable Old Recipes, Baby. Cook it!
This is a secret recipe that my mother always let me make. I actually remember opening the dates, adding the cream cheese, rolling them in sugar… eating them while making them, my hands sticky and messy, the resulting plate of dates passable for parents and grandparents, siblings who don’t care if you sucked your fingers, ate half of the product, and whatever was left looked far and away from a spread in Gourmet magazine. And yet, of the few memories of childhood that surface, making these cream-cheese dates always bubbles up.
Why the secret?
It seems like no one makes these anymore. They’re a secret date currency, only passed around in so many festive houses, once a year. Or made in my little kitchen today, by me and for me– a short electrical loop. It’s like the time, a few weeks ago, or maybe a month or more, when I made a deviled egg. One. Singular. For me. Because I wanted an hors d’euvre, not a dozen, and sometime a deviled egg tastes so sweet.
So anyways: here is my Cream Cheese Date Treat, appropriate for children and adults all holidays of the year, but usually relegated to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
1 package of pitted dates
1 box of cream cheese
1 handful of nuts– preferably Walnut or Pecan
1 small handful of sugar
The child (or child within) opens the dates with a plastic knife, then gives each one a liberal smear of cream cheese. Now, press the nut into the center. Voila. If you’re feeling like you’d like a decorative crystal number, roll the date in a pile of sugar. I used “Wholesome Sweetness Organic Sugar,” which is an oxymoron in itself. The dates and pecans were organic and on sale at the natural grocery store. The cream cheese was waiting for me in the fridge. Happiness ensues.