But in my family, povitica is a savory bread rather than a sweet treat, and is reserved almost exclusively for Easter, at the end of Lenten fasts and meatless meals. When my mother was a little girl, my grandmother used to make it on Good Friday to serve Saturday night. How she could stand to fry bacon and bake bread on the most important day of fast and abstinence in the church calendar, I can't imagine! She certainly made of sterner stuff than Mom and Grandpa Frankie, who would leave the house and visit every church in a 25 mile radius to escape the tempting aromas.
Naturally my mother made sure I was inducted into the tradition of baking povitica, and I recall her patience in teaching me to roll out such a large amount of dough. She probably rapped my knuckles with a wooden spoon for sneaking bits of bacon out of the bowl---I still can't resist a taste or two!---and kept a watchful eye as I chopped walnuts so they would be neither too large nor too small. I was dubious that the beaten eggs would stay in place as I rolled up the rectangle, but she was positive and encouraging, as all great teachers are.
Another memory of povitica I have is from my senior year of high school. Thanks to a religion class on Catholic peace and justice issues, I had become involved with Oxfam America, an organization that works to end world hunger. They had a campaign for people to fast on the Thursday before Thanksgiving and then donate the money they might have spent on food to the organization. I decided to commit myself to the fast and announced my intention at the dinner table a few days before the event.
I had intended to fast the whole day, even though I had to work at my fast-food job after school until about 10 p.m., but my mother would have none of it: "I don't want you passing out at work!" So even though it was months before Easter, my mother made a huge povitica and packed two thick slices for my lunch. I won't say I wasn't hungry at work (and that was at least part of the point of the exercise---to experience hunger as so many others do) but at least I didn't faint into a fryer.
"When you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God."
I didn't really need Gibran to teach me that---I had my mom as an example.
You may want to bake up some bacon and walnut love yourself, so look for the recipe for Austrian Povitica HERE.
God bless and happy baking!