I love a good old-fashioned hometown celebration, and last weekend’s 33rd annual Butter & Egg Days Festival in Petaluma, California hit every delicious sentimental note. This beloved event pays tribute to the rich agricultural heritage of the region’s renouned dairy and poultry industries and has become a treasured local tradition each April.
Four downtown city blocks were filled with arts & crafts, food vendors, community & non-profit booths, and special activities geared toward children. Crowds arrived early to stake out a spot along the parade route where marching bands and over one hundred floats decorated in the spirit of this year’s theme, “Homegrown Petaluma”, prepared to strutt their stuff down the main boulevard.
Adults and kids joined in the fun by sporting festive attire, themed bonnets, and lots of feathers.
Attendees of all ages rushed to try their luck in activities like the ever-popular Cow Chip Throwing Contest, sponsored by Clover Dairy—the largest producer of quality dairy products in Northern California and a Petaluma-based favorite. Participants competed in heats to see who could chuck dried, painted cow pies (adults) and “horse apples”(kids) the farthest in return for bragging rights and cool swag prizes. Though the competition was fierce, in the end Petaluma Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Schach walked away with this year’s title—all in the line of “doody”and good fun of course!
An estimated 30,000 people came out to show their hometown pride this year!
In homage to this hometown gala, I’d like to share this favorite recipe for Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies from fellow blogger Honestly Yum. When it comes to showcasing butter, you simply can’t beat these irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth cookies kissed with a hint of Earl Grey tea and citrus. But beware: they’re highly addictive!
Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons, fine quality loose leaf Earl Grey tea
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and orange zest until fluffy. Place tea in a zip lock bag and use a rolling-pin to crush the leaves into fine granules.
2. Add crushed tea to the butter and mix until incorporated. Fold in cornstarch; add flour one cup at a time until blended. Scoop the dough onto plastic wrap and shape into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 300*. Roll out chilled cookie dough on a floured pastry cloth to about ¼ inch thickness. Use small cookie cutters to cut out cookies.
4. Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until pale golden.
*Cookies are fragile so transfer to a cooling rack with care using a spatula.