Poppy seeds remind me of Ukraine. I ate more than my fair share of poppy seed layered cake in that country. I wanted to bake something equivalent over here in America, so I purchased what seemed like a ton of poppy seeds and scoured my numerous books for a recipe.
I never did find the Ukrainian one. But I had all of these poppy seeds, and I also had a neat vintage bundt pan waiting to be used, so instead I made an orange marmalade cake. I have made it several times this year for guests, and even people who don't like oranges or marmalade (or even poppy seeds) loved it.
It became my go-to dessert, much like my potato salad has become my go-to side dish to bring to a picnic.
Today, I made it again for my knitting guild party. The first time I ever baked it, the power went out 10 minutes after I put it in the oven. I don't remember why it went out -- but I do remember the cake didn't turn out at all. I needed to start the whole thing over once the power came back on.
I used the giant bundt pan I found at a thrift store for only $2. The recipe called for a 'large' bundt pan... but the cake turned out super short. The recipe was from a South African magazine. Apparently their large isn't quite so big as this thing:
While the cake tasted great, it was somewhat short. The next time, I used a smaller bundt pan I also found during a thrifting hunt -- the cake came out the perfect size.
Today, while making it again, I don't know whether I was more excited to use that small bundt pan, or the juicer I scored during a weekend antique hunt.
They both made me happy. The whole process made me again thankful for my own little kitchen. The finished cake made me smile, too. The gals at the knitting club hardly made a dent, but I won't be complaining when I have a slice for breakfast. I'm sure my elderly neighbor will also be thrilled when I give him a piece or two, tomorrow.
I'm still on the hunt for the Ukrainian poppy seed cake recipe, though. This cake is great, but it's not quite the same.