When I indulge in a piece of this light, sweet poppy seed bread with a cup of tea, I am immediately transported back to a time in my life that now seems to have gone by so quickly. When I reluctantly put my daughter into a nursery school program for the first time, I felt lost without her. She was two and a half, and the program consisted of two mornings a week for 2 hours. I would go food shopping, do an errand or two, and before I knew it, it was time to go back to pick her up. But there were the days when I had no errands, and I just didn’t know how to fill the void. As luck would have it, many other mothers felt the same. There were no Starbucks back then to meet for coffee and pass away an hour or two. Can you imagine a life without Starbucks? We would sometimes go back to each others homes and make coffee or tea, and sit around and chat. Somewhere along the way, we started to serve our homemade baked goods and share recipes. This recipe for poppy seed bread came from one such experience. I remember sitting on a patio, on a brilliant spring day, enjoying a piece of this sweet bread, a cup of tea, and wonderful conversation. Many strong friendships were formed during these weekday gatherings, and many recipes changed hands. I look back fondly on this uncomplicated, yet wonderful time in my life. My memories of these women, our conversations and our delicious baked goodies, always brings a smile to my face.
RECIPE: Makes two loaves
5 ounces poppy seeds (2 bottles)
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1. Soak poppy seed in milk for several hours or overnight.
2. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Beat eggs and sugar.
4. Stir in oil, vanilla and poppy seed mixture.
5. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Stir into poppy seed mixture. Stir well.
6. Pour into prepared pans.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until light brown.
8. Turn out on racks to cool. May dust with powdered sugar if desired.
9. Invite a friend or two over for tea, and sit and have a nice long chat while enjoying a piece of this delicious bread!