Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Place a rack in the bottom of a large pot, over medium heat, and fill to the top of the rack with boiling water.
In a large bowl cream the lard and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the walnuts, chopped raisins, currants, dates, bread crumbs, and orange juice. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
Cover the top with 2 layers of parchment paper and tie down with string. Place the pan on the rack. Cover pot and steam cake for 3 hours. Make sure to add water as it evaporates. Serve warm with Hard Sauce.
To make the Hard Sauce: In a saucepan cream 2 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar. Add 1/8 cup boiling water and 1/8 cup brandy. Cook, stirring, until clear and pour over individual servings.
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