Poppies… Poppies.

Puny and late, my first poppy.

Apologies for the break in the action here. Or should I say, the reportage of the action? Because nothing has changed other than the timing of the activities. We are still busy folk.

In all honesty, I am discouraged with my work. It has become a leaden weight for one reason or another, and so takes infinitely more time (or so it seems) to get anything meaningful related to it done. Promised as a 20-hour a week gig, it is decidedly more than that just in its psychological/spiritual toll at this point, and the pay is far from commensurate. Even decent, restful sleep has been hard to come by for at least a month. Fooling around with cookies, wool, a garden and a blog have all been squeezed to the periphery as I work very hard at remaining good at being a mom, wife and dog owner despite my feelings of great inadequacy at all of the above.

But enough about that. “Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeeep. Now they’ll sleeeeep!”

Why poppies? I have been trying without success to grow the showy red variety for every one of the five years I have been in possession of a plot of land upon which to grow them. I am not at all sure what I have been doing wrong, whether improper soil preparation or bad seeds or, far more likely, mistaking the greenery for weeds and impatiently yanking them up (yes, I can be that impatient and that idiotic), but until about a week ago all my attempts have failed.

A neighbor's poppy seed heads.

Then, last week, a little late in the season and because of or despite serious neglect, surprise! A feeble runt of a poppy blossom. And then two more!

Funny coincidence really, as the next cookies on my plate (so to speak) are Hamentaschen, or as Sharon Tyler Herbst calls them “Haman’s Pockets.” Whatever. The recipe requires making the poppy seed filling from scratch. So off I went to Wegmans in Pittsford looking for poppy seeds. All I could find were little McCormick plastic jars of them in with the spices. Not even a full ¼ cup for close to $5.00. Making my own poppy seed filling calls for a whole cup and I was not going to spend over $20 for poppy seeds. The flagship store of Wegmans which corners the market on groceries in our area, however, does not sell poppy seeds in bulk. Or more accurately, at this time of year, also known as not anywhere near Purim, they do not sell poppy seeds in bulk.

Which led me to cast about a bit for ideas on where to procure them. I briefly thought about harvesting my own. Might take a couple of years though to grow enough of them, and I am not altogether sure we’re talking about the same sort of poppy seed anyway. My neighbors do have some impressive looking poppy seed heads… But no. I ordered the amount I need from Penzeys and, one of these days soon, far from the holiday of Purim for which they are intended, we will have Hamantaschen.

Hopefully there will also soon be sleep… poppy seed-induced or not.

Gentle sleep! Scatter thy drowsiest poppies from above; And in new dreams not soon to vanish, bless my senses with the sight of her I love. — Horace Smith


About pattiblaine

Raised under the name of Snyder in the upstate NY town of Vestal, I've worked as a typesetter, a fast food salad bar tender, an art reviewer, a waitress, a part-time nanny, and a very-bad-with-phones temp. Once upon a time I was all-but-thesis toward a Masters in Art History. Now I'm just a mom with a lot of fiber squirreled away throughout the house. We call it insulation. In 2013 I completed a life-long learning program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and am a postulant toward the diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, NY. In addition to coordinating volunteers for the soup kitchen, I volunteer as a tutor at a deeply impoverished city elementary school, and am a docent at the Memorial Art Gallery.
This entry was posted in On the fly (aka from a mobile device), The Joy of Cookies, Unfinished things, Worky work and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Poppies… Poppies.

  1. The difference between opium poppies and garden poppies? INTENT. there are some commercial varieties of poppies, but for the most part, there are just poppies..
    Poppy seeds are high enough in opiates to trigger a posstive test (for herion/opiate use)–especially when used in cookies that call for cups of them! (Hamantaschen are the ulitimate in feel good cookies–eat them at night and sleep well!)
    in NYC stores, the giant spice bottles of poppies seeds are only available seasonally (for Purim and for christmas) but canned poppy seed filling (for danish and other pastries)–sold in cake mix aisle with almond paste, and cherry pie filling) is available year round.

    one of these days, i am going to arrive (unannounced) on your doorstep, and do a cookie raid!
    What’s 350 miles when at the end is a freezer full of homemde deltights!

  2. Pingback: Hamantaschen | Every Fibre of My Being

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