Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x4x2.5 inch loaf pan.
Place dates in a large bowl. Add baking soda to boiling water and pour over dates in a bowl. Set aside and let mixture stand while mixing other ingredients.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Strain water from the date mixture into batter. Add flour and beat well. Add nuts, dates, and vanilla and combine until all ingredients are well mixed.
Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.