Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees F for about 7 minutes. Let cool, and then chop.
Reduce the heat of the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a standard size loaf pan – mine is about 8 1/2 by 4 1/2, but a slightly wider one would be okay too.
Put the dates, boiling water and butter in a large mixing bowl and stir well. Stir in the vanilla.
In a second bowl, thoroughly stir together your flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
With a spoon, gradually stir the flour mixture into the date mixture until it is well-mixed, but do be careful not to overbeat. Stir in the egg. When egg is incorporated, stir in the toasted pecans. Transfer to the loaf pan.
Bake on center rack of oven at 325 F for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Mine took one hour, but if you use a wider loaf pan the bread might be done a little bit sooner. Let cool in pan for about half an hour, then turn from pan and let cool completely.