Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fear not the poppy seed

Knee-deep in mid-term exam week, I've just written a short paper on Schleiermacher, gone to three meetings in three hours, and now it's time to get heady about logical behaviorism. So, naturally, it's just about the perfect time for baking.

Think of a lemon poppy seed muffin. Now imagine this muffin as a cookie. It has a crust so that it makes a sound if you tap it against the table. But inside your mouth it's soft and crumbly, just so delicate, and the levity of the lemon rind and weight of the poppy seeds are doing something you like very much on your tongue. Let me be clear. These are not knock-out cookies. These are not wham-bam-thank-you-mam cookies. These are cookies for tea. They are cookies for small bites and soft palate contemplation. They are... something out of My Fair Lady. Maybe they slowly win over Audrey Hepburn, maybe she'll always be smiling at high tea with seeds in her teeth. And maybe we like her better that way.

But really, these are worth getting a few poppy seeds in your teeth. Indeed, if you're like me, and about to become nocturnal for a few days, now is a perfect time to look disheveled and seedy (ha!) - and happily so.

So, this is my adapation of
Molly Katzen's Whole Wheat Poppy Seed Cookies. I think you'll like them. My only changes to the recipe are that I used about 1/8 cup poppy seeds and not 1/3, and I added 1/2 teaspoon of hazelnut extract (because I'm a nut fiend). Here is the recipe, a page from the delightfully illustrated The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest. I cooked a whole lot from this book last year, and everything I've ever encountered in it tastes just lovely.

And, please do note my dear friend Anna’s website on the right side of this page under Wesleyan Music Scene. It’s a totally useful index of the shows happening on campus and what they’re like, so you can be a satisfied (and frequent!) concert-goer. I suppose if hers is auralwes, then mine is something more like oralwes – but we don’t need to go there.


Jane said...

Poppy seeds for me will forever mean second grade and international night. And while this memory is incredibly vivid it was over 50 yrs ago.
As a student representative for our class I wore a dutch lace cap and served some kind of quick bread with poppy seeds. I'm not sure that I so much loved the poppy seeds as found them unusual. My taste goes more for the sweet stuff.
But this recipe sounds great. I'll give it a try.

Leah said...

I know what you're talking about. I made falafel for an international night in elementary school - I think you'll remember. They were hard nuggets out of the box, but they were so fun to dole out to the intrepid people who came up to me asking, "Are those meatballs?"