Boil sugar, shortening, raisins, salt, and water (do not boil dates). Add dry ingredients, dates and walnuts to the boiled mixture. Bake at 325* in (2) 8"x8"x2" pans or in (1) 13"x9"x2" pan for 60-75 minutes. Allow to cool and divide into 4 "loaves". Wrap well and store. Serve sliced and plain or with hard sauce. This cake will stay moist for many months, but keeps best when moistened with rum or brandy.