Dates in Syrup


        2 lbs. fresh dates
        2 1/4 cups sugar
        2 cups water
        Several whole cloves
        Few drops lemon juice
        Blanched almonds
Peel the fresh dates carefully and then boil in water until tender. Drain and let dry until they no longer feel moist to the touch. Push out the pits with a knitting needle. Save the water in which the dates have been boiled. Put layers of fine sugar and dates in saucepan, starting with a layer of sugar. Let stand overnight. In the morning, remove the dates from the pan, shaking off the sugar. Add the water in which the dates were cooked to the sugar and boil until the syrup is thick. While syrup is boiling, stuff each date with a blanched almond. Add the stuffed dates to the thick syrup and boil gently for 10 minutes. Store in covered glass jars.

These dates may be served as confection after a meal, or offered at teatime. In Lebanon they could be offered to visitors at any time.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)