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Heritage Sod House Date Pudding
(Old English Cake Style)
This recipe was handed down from my ancestors on my mother's side of the family. They came from the mid-west to Kansas and then into Oklahoma before statehood. My mother was born in a sod house in the Oklahoma panhandle, the portion called "No Man's Land". This dessert adapted very well to the days on the unsettled prairies and primitive cooking methods. It could be cooked in a Dutch oven over water, on top of a stove, or over water in wood- or cow chip-fired ovens. However, in the early settler days all but the staples were at a premium. Thus, this dessert was a special treat, [served] mostly during holidays. The walnuts and the dates were not that available to the western Oklahoma pioneer families. We are probably challenged today to think of this dessert as pudding because we are accustomed to the "Jello-style" variety. But earlier in our history, this style of dessert was common and "pudding" was a cake confection floating on a sauce layer or a bread pudding style without the sauce layer.
The vestiges of that heritage of adventure, serenity, individuality, and turn-of-the-century ambiance have been re-established and embellished at Heritage Manor.
Dissolve brown sugar into hot water in a 9 x 9-inch or larger baking dish or pan. In a separate bowl, stir together white sugar, flour, and baking powder. Add milk, vanilla, chopped walnuts, and chopped dates and stir. Pour mixture over sugar and water mixture; do not stir! Bake at 325 degrees until fairly firm to the touch. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or cream. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.
Enjoy, this may be a part of your ancestral heritage and your children may preserve the recipe for their children's children!
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