They called me Lisa Potica...
As a child my Slovenian extended family called me Lisa Potica. Nicknames can be challenging but this one I wore with honor. Potica (pronounced po-teet-za) came out once a year, at Christmas time. And it was greatly anticipated.
"Have you made your potica yet?" Uncle Bob asks family members as the holiday season advanced. "Did you know Johnny is making it this year?"
The youngest of their six children, my mother's Uncle Bob, visits everybody's house once or twice a week sharing news, stories, and magazines. In the first years of 1900 coal mining opportunities brought his father, my great grandfather, Anton Padboy(Podboj) from Slovenia, which was then considered part of the Austrian Empire and later Yugoslavia. He came with his father Matthew and brother Charlie to seek a new home. The men travelled across country from New York to Colorado, California to Canada. Matthew settled Little Falls, New York where he was joined by his wife and daughters. Charlie settled in Canada but Anton found his way to Colorado mines in the Piedmont-Trinidad area where he met and married my great grandmother Mary Mazi. For twenty years they followed mining work but in 1930 they found themselves in Denver, Colorado and settled in the Globeville community with their six children.
Every Christmas Uncle Bob brings samples of every potica he receives for tasting. For the newest generations, our Slovenian traditions may be faded but they are still alive in the potica. From holiday parties to weddings and funerals, you know there's a good chance there will be potica. Our family traditions are carried on by Char, second generation daughter of the eldest son Tony. Mothers traditionally made this holiday and special occasion bread but in the newer generation men have stepped up, especially John, son of second Padboy daughter, Tillie. Each recipe is similar but as different as each individual.
I've made this site to share the recipes that have come town to me from my mother Mary, daughter of eldest Padboy daughter Ann, my grandmother.
Order Potica for the Holidays!
Other food traditions: