Barbie Butz e1607969318124
Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at

So, here we are, entering another month on our 2021 calendars and getting closer to Atascadero’s celebration of the history of its founding, otherwise known as Colony Days. The 2021 theme is “Celebrating Community,” and there is much to celebrate this year since the event was canceled last year due to COVID.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Sunken Gardens. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and runs along El Camino Real.

Visit for more information and descriptions of activities during the day.

The kickoff event for the celebration of Colony Days will be the 43rd Annual Colony Days Reception presented by Quota of Atascadero on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2 p.m., at Atascadero Bible Church Fellowship Hall, 6225 Atascadero Avenue.


The tea is open to men and women age 55 years or older who have lived in Atascadero for at least 40 years or attended Atascadero schools and lived in San Luis Obispo County for 40 years. Reservations are necessary and can be made by calling Dyann Shepard at 805-466-8602.

The Colony Days king, queen, and grand marshal will be honored and the queen will receive her crown.

Longtime residents will have time to reminisce about growing up in Atascadero.

I’ve been looking for recipes to prepare for the Quota Colony Days Reception and I think the following will be perfect. It will be a nice introduction to October with the use of pumpkin!

Note: You will need six 3-inch tart pans.

Pumpkin Pecan Tarts
2 (10-inch) pie crusts ( I like Pillsbury or Trader Joe’s)
3 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
½ cup sugar
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum

Unroll pie crusts and cut into six 4-inch circles and line mini tart pans; crimp edges. Place pans on baking sheets for ease in removing tarts from oven. In medium bowl, beat eggs, pumpkin, sugars, corn syrup, melted butter, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Pour into prepared pie crusts. Sprinkle pecans over top. Bake on middle rack of preheated 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until center is set. Cool for at least 1 hour before slicing; refrigerate until ready to serve.
For topping, beat cream with powdered sugar, vanilla, and bourbon or rum until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to serve. Since tarts are very rich, thin slices are in order.

This recipe will work well for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consider delivering a couple of these tarts with a little bag of tea to wish a friend a “happy day!”