◊ Poppy Seed Things


Dear mom,

You and dad are seriously inspiring. I only hope that I’ll be using my time with such competence when I’m your age.

I started this response a few weeks ago, right after your letter. I wrote that I’m questioning my time competency… I think I’m not as good as you and dad. Then school stuff stole me away and I forgot about the letter completely.

I’ve been spending most of my time around a big table in a room called B1, my school’s new media hole. It smells like dirty boy scalp, fries and cigarettes. My classmates and I sit there with our headphones on, hunched over computers, only looking up when an instructor walks into the room or when someone brings snacks. Zainab says it looks like the game hungry hungry hippos. It’s much more pathetic than that.

I was questioning my time competency because I feel like school is sucking time so so quickly. It’s like I enter a tunnel and all the sudden hours have gone by and it’s hard to get out. Even when I really have to pee. I dance in my chair making just one more edit until things become dire.

If my next UTI comes from homework, I’m going to feel really sad about my life. I only have two more years of my twenties! Why am I spending all my time hunched over a computer?

I don’t know. It’s fun?

But it is fun.

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school peeps in Denver


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sometimes I get to go outside

I’m not in B1 right now. It’s spring break, so obviously I’m on a plane headed somewhere warm and sunny. I’m ready to work my ass off.


this is what every class looks like. all those tangerine peels…

Sorry I’m so intense. Next time I’m home I’ll try to find a grandkid you can rent.




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Poppy seed cake

I wanted to save this recipe for Passover time, but at the current rate of our letter-writing, I figured that my next letter might not be until after the holiday.


I learned this recipe from Nahum in the last half of our fishballs lesson when I was in Jerusalem this winter. It’s his mom’s special cake. When you make it, you have to pray so her soul can be elevated. Or something. Nahum says it better:

This is one of my favorite cakes. It’s light and spongy and not super sweet. It also fits everyone’s weird dietary stuff – gluten free, grain-free, dairy free. Definitely try it for Passover… which will be here before we know it. Time goes crazy fast!



  • 1 1⁄2 cup poppy seeds, GROUND
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 stick of butter or canola oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup raisins and/or sliced almonds, optional



Grease a 9 inch pan and preheat oven to 300 F.

Grind the poppy seeds in food processor or coffee grinder until sticky. Combine with baking powder in large bowl.

Beat egg yolks until thick, slowly adding sugar, salt and vanilla. Add butter and poppy seeds and raisins/almonds. Mix until combined.

With a separate whisk (electric mixer is best) and clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff (look for peaks). Gently fold the whites into the poppy batter and pour into pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the cake passes the clean toothpick test. Cool before serving and dust with powdered sugar if you wanna be fancy.



Meyer lemon poppy cashew cream

This is my weird vegan, paleo, raw take on the poppy theme. It’s a slightly sweet, ultra luxurious lemon poppy cream made with only four ingredients: cashews, lemon, raisins and poppy seeds.


  • 3 cups cashews, soaked in water overnight
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup – 1 cup raisins (I prefer less sweet, so I use ½ cup)
  • juice and zest of 1 meyer lemon
  • 1 cup poppy seeds, ground


Soak cashews in water for 5 hours or overnight. Rinse well and add to food processor with ½ cup water, dates, lemon juice and lemon zest. Puree until smooth and creamy. Add ground poppy seeds (use food processor or coffee grinder to grind seeds prior to this step) and mix into the cashew cream.


I layered it with overnight oats soaked in cinnamon and almond milk + green apple + raisins for a very luxurious breakfast. Almost better than eating cake!

It also works as filling for a raw poppy cheesecake with a cinnamon, walnut base. Also Passover friendly!

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