Just when I’m thinking I’m so tired of the cold (yeah, I know this is nothing compared to other areas), I notice tiny buds on bushes and flowering trees that had looked dead all winter. I see the blades of the bulbs John planted, pushing up through the soil toward the sun.

Barbie Butz e1577383874121
Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at barbiewb@hotmail.com.

We’ve had what I call “teaser days”—those bright, sunny days when the temperature gets into the 70s and even hits 80 degrees. The period doesn’t last long, and then it’s back to cold again. But, how can I not love the magic of seasonal changes. 

The official coming of spring won’t be long—-March 20th. The signs are there, and I’m ready. I’m ready for spring blooms, spring weather, spring vegetables, and especially spring baseball!


This week’s cake recipe is from a UCSB /Kappa Alpha Theta friend of mine, Dearine Sillesen Dalton. She indicated that the cake was her family’s “birthday cake” when she was growing up and was always called Mother’s Good Cake. With the use of fresh berries, it will make the perfect “springtime” dessert.

Ruth Sillesen’s Good Cake


1½ cup sugar

2/3 cup butter or margarine

5 egg yolks

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 egg whites

Strawberries, bananas, or other berries

chopped nuts (for decoration; optional)

1 pint whipping cream


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream ¾ cup sugar and butter. Add one egg yolk at a time and mix. Sift flour and baking powder and add to mixture. Mix in milk until smooth. Use cake pans with removable bottoms; butter and dust with flour and line bottom with wax paper. Spread batter evenly in pans. Beat egg whites until foamy and add sugar slowly. Beat until peaks form. Spread over cake batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cake. Whip the cream. Place one layer on cake plate and top with whipped cream and fruit. Place second layer on top of fruit and cover with whipped cream, fruit, and optional nuts.

For those of you who can’t live without chocolate, I’m including this old recipe from years ago. 

Chocolate Icebox Dessert


1 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

8 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup chopped walnuts

½ pound vanilla wafers, crushed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Cream the butter and powdered sugar. Beat egg yolks and cocoa together and add to butter and sugar. Add walnuts and vanilla extract to mixture and blend. Sprinkle half vanilla wafers in bottom of a 9×11-inch pan. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and fold into cocoa mixture. Pour mixture into the pan; level and sprinkle the remainder of vanilla wafers on top. Refrigerate overnight. Serves 10 to 12.

If you enjoyed the snowboard competitions at the Winter Olympics, you might want to mark your calendars for the Central Coast Monster Skate Series coming back in April to get back to their traditional Spring contest series. The cities of Atascadero, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, along with Templeton Community Services District, San Luis Obispo County Parks Department, and A-Town Park, are all co-sponsoring the event. For more information, visit ccmonsterskate.com.

Continue your “daffodil count,”