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

Considering all of the setbacks due to COVID in 2020, our Colony Days celebration was a great success. We missed “Tent City,” but I think people were just happy to be out to “Celebrate Community,” the Colony Days theme this year. 

Carol Porter and I announced the parade in front of the Kochi Restaurant, and thanks to Jerry Tanimoto and Smart and Final in Atascadero, we had a safe ladder to climb up on the back of the truck (our announcing stand), loaned by El Camino Building Supply. Thank you for the support.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the parade this year. It was nice to see so many groups of children, from dance schools to the San Benito Elementary School Bengals and the great marching bands of Atascadero High School and Paso Robles High School. There were several beautiful vintage car entries which added to the enjoyment of all. And of course, our “Royalty,” Queen Charlotte and King Mike Byrne and Grand Marshal of the Parade, Joan Rexroth, were driven by Kent Kenney in his 1985 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible.

Don’t forget the Pioneer Days Parade this Saturday, October 9, starting at 10 a.m. at 16th and Spring. For more information about that event and other activities, visit


This week’s recipe will help you during the coming holidays. The puffs can be frozen and are nice to serve at your own “wine tasting” or along with a hot cup of tomato/basil soup.

Gruyére Herb Puffs

¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup shredded Gruyére cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce such as Tabasco


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a large baking sheet. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and water. Heat until butter melts and water boils, about 3 minutes. Add flour and salt and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or handheld electric mixer on medium speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Batter should have a dull sheen. Stir in cheese, thyme, rosemary, and hot-pepper sauce until well mixed. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, allowing about 2 inches between mounds—Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet set on a rack. Arrange puffs in a basket or on a tray. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: After puffs have cooled completely, freeze in a single layer. Transfer to a lock-top bag and freeze for up to 4 weeks. Thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour, then place on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven to crisp for 10 minutes.

Enjoy the weekend.