In a small bowl combine the dates and baking soda. Pour enough boiling water
over the dates to just cover them.
Cream the 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the butter with the granulated sugar until
light. Beat in the eggs and mix well to combine.
Add the flour and date mixture (including water) to the egg mixture and fold
to combine. Pour the batter into one 8-inch round baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool, slice and serve with warm
Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar, evaporated milk,
vanilla and the last 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter. Cook over medium heat and
bring to boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use