so it turns out that i need to pay a bit more attention to things. i made muesli and date loaf today:
well, actually i made date-less muesli and date loaf. see my new breadmaker (brilliantly op-shopped for $20) has an automatic fruit dispenser. and having not used it before, i popped the dates into the dispenser, popped the other ingredients into the bread tin and walked away. (the walking away bit was the killer).
it turned out that the "automatic" fruit dispenser was automatic, but just didn't actually open wide enough to "dispense". opps.
but warm buttered date-less muesli and date loaf is still good...