Preheat the oven to 350.
Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3 inch loaf pan.
Put the dates, walnuts, baking soda, salt and shortening in a bowl. Pour the boiling water over and stir. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
Using a fork, beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl. Add the flours and stir; the batter will be too stiff to mix well. Add the date mixture and mix briskly until the batter is well blended. Spoon into the loaf pan and bake 40 to 50 minutes. Check the loaf often; it is done when a few moist crumbs cling to a straw inserted in the middle of the loaf. The bread will continue to bake after it is removed from the oven. Do not overbake, or the loaf will be dry.
When the loaf is done, slide a knife around the edges of the pan and turn the loaf onto a rack to cool completely. This bread freezes well.
Recipe courtesy of Marion Cuningham