Put the cranberries and dates in a medium bowl and pour the boiling water over all. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Grease and flour one 9"x5"x3" loaf pan or 4 small loaf pans (5½"x3"x2").
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, soda, and salt.
Add the nuts to the flour mixture and toss to coat.
Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl and then whisk in the oil and vanilla.
Use a rubber spatula to stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture.
Then pour the water with the cranberries and dates into the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Pour into the prepared loaf pan or divide evenly between 4 small loaf pans.
Bake one large loaf for 45 to 60 minutes. The small loaf pans will take from 25 to 35 minutes.Bread is done when a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool on rack for 8 minutes. Then remove from pans.