Do a Google search for “Poplonick”, go ahead, I’ll wait…..not much comes up does it? Yeah, me either! I’m not sure that this delicious goodness is actually called Poplonick in the real world, but that’s what I grew up calling it, and what generations before us called it. I think it’s Slovak, so that could be the problem. In any case, this was an Easter treat (similar to an Easter Cheese Bread, I think).
I remember Poppop would always pack it in the basket to take to church to have it blessed. Along with Cidets (again, not sure that’s the real name), Kielbasa, ham, eggs and various other things, it was just one of those things I had to wait patiently for. Heaven help us if we touched the food before Monsignor Murman did! Truthfully, I wish I could find a church around here that still did these things. They were traditions that, looking back, I’d like to pick up a few of them today!
I also remember a time when Gramma and I were making this bread and happened to dump a bit of the cheese topping onto the bottom of the oven, and then promptly cranked the heat and set the oven on fire. Ahhhh, good times! Unfortunately it wasn’t the only time that house had seen fire, but that’s another story for a different day! On this particular occasion, the oven was only briefly ablaze and the Poplonick turned out just fine, despite its smokey beginnings.
Don’t let the presumed simplicity of this recipe fool you. It takes a LOT of knowhow to get this thing right! Too thick and the cheese mix is thin, and the bread is dry. Too thin and it’s a soupy mess. Too uneven and, well, all heck breaks loose! It was anyones guess from year to year how it was going to turn out. Did the moon and stars align correctly, was the heater on the back porch too warm or too cold, did little helpers get in the way a little too much? Yeah, who knows. All I know is that NO ONE wanted the corner pieces until the next day when you could make a ham and Poplonick sandwich from the Easter leftovers! Mmmmmm…again…good times!