Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom only 8x4 loaf pan. In a large bowl, beat sugar, margarine until light and fluffy. Add eggs, blend well.
In a small bowl, combine, nuts baking powder, baking soda and salt; well. Add to buttermilk mixture; stir just dry ingredients are moistened. Add dates & orange peel to mixture. Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake 350 for 55 to 65 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.