Friday, October 20, 2006

Poppy seed suffering

I had a breakfast muffin yesterday from the canteen. This was despite the fact that I already had breakfast in the car on the way to work. (Note: if the car manufacturers can put 17 cup holders in one vehicle, I think they should go a step further and put cereal bowl holders in there too. Probably cause fewer accidents as well ;) Yes, I am nawty. But I only eat at the traffic lights, OK?

Anyway, for a canteen muffin it was awfully good. Orange poppy seed with little bits of peel and orange and just enough poppy seeds.

(Just to go on a little tangent here - according to Mythbusters, I would test positive for opiates two hours after eating this muffin :)

Eating that delicious muffin - just thinking about it makes me start to salivate - reminded me of the time my mum and I went into a cake baking frenzy. For a whole week we made poppy seed cakes every night (this is when I was living with my parents).

So, to put this in perspective, our family has a touch of OCD. I think it's from my mother's side as my maternal cousins and aunts seem to have it in one form or another.

My mother will fixate on one cooking project, and for several weeks she will follow it through its various incarnations and adapted deviations. Earlier this year it was mango pudding, and she made mango pudding almost every night, with egg, without, with more gelatin, with fresh or tinned mangos and so forth, until the urge passed and we were all sick of mangos. Then it was vegetable soup. And as much as I like vegetable soup, it's not a smell you want wafting into your bedroom at 6 o'clock in the morning. You know, that kind of yellow sharpish smell. Ugh. And then it was chive pancakes. I particularly enjoyed that phase. At the moment it's azuki bean soup with sago, a South East Asian dessert. I've had that as a mobile breakfast quite a few times now.

Anyway, back to poppy seed vanilla cake. Mum and I started off by making a vanilla cake and decided to bung some poppy seeds in for fun. We were cheating, using Green's Vanilla Cake packet mixes which are very good value and taste better than White Wings (well I think so). We decided to tip in the whole packet of poppy seeds in and see what it tasted like. The cake was an interesting grey colour from all the seeds. But so delicious! I couldn't stop stuffing it into my mouth and neither could Mum. We kept cutting "tasting" slivers off the warm cake until it was all gone. Mmm...

We made a cake a day after that and had poppy seed cake every afternoon and evening for a week.

And then we discovered that there was a downside to having so many poppy seeds in your system. A painful, frustrating downside. Without being indelicate, here is an excerpt from a conversation Mum and I had during the event to illustrate what happened (and remember, Mum's a nurse):

Mum: "Well, I suppose I shouldn't be so surprised."
Me: "Pardon?"
Mum: "You know, heroin addicts have a lot of trouble doing their business."
Me: "I'm sorry?"
Mum: "We have to give them a lot of laxatives at the hospital."
Me: "Aaaaaaaaargghh!"

Many servings of prune juice and bran later, both of us were too scared to make any more mega-poppy seed cakes after that. Indeed, I don't think we touched anything with poppy seeds in it for months.

Another side note: Poppy seeds are illegal in Singapore because they contain opiates. Sigh. How many poppy seeds would it take to make a gram of heroin, I wonder?


dex mission said...

cute illustration :)

true about the poppy seed thing, i know someone that failed her test when applying for a job.

Anonymous said...

I think I ate too many poppy seeds and have found myself doubled over in pain with stomach cramps - who knew?