I don’t do much in the way of holiday baking these days. Between my food sensitivities and our desire to just plain eat better holiday baking has dwindled in the last couple of years. Still, there’s not a December that goes by without making up a batch of potica. Over the weekend we made up our annual batch.
Potica making always starts with the grinding of walnuts. I remember grinding nuts with my dad and grandma as a child with my grandma’s giant and ancient hand-crank meat grinder. These days we use a grinder attachment for our KitchenAid mixer. The attachment was a yard sale find a couple of years back and easily the best $1.50 we’ve ever spent at a yard sale.
After the grinding of nuts comes the kneading and rolling out of the butter and egg laden dough. I always use my grandma’s rolling pin for the task, something about the potica baking makes me nostalgic and using her pin connects me more to her memory. Once the dough is rolled thin, it gets spread with the sweet, gooey walnut filling before baking.
One bite and I’m instantly taken back to the holiday seasons of my childhood (yes, I allowed my wheat, dairy, egg sensitive self have a slice or three). The great thing about making potica is that it’s more than just a childhood tradition, it’s something that I’ve carried from my formative years in Pittsburgh to our farm here in northwestern Montana. Potica was something Jeff had never had before we met and now we share it with our friends and his family. It’s a tradition I’m so very happy to continue and one I look forward to carrying on well into old age.
What traditions are you carrying on?