For many Labor Day is thought of as the last hurrah of summer, the long weekend before the kids go back to school and the hustle & bustle of car pool pick-ups, dance classes, soccer practice, and late night homework begins.
Its humble beginnings were initiated by the Knights of Labor (union), to honor the working class.
A celebration of the social and economic achievements that the American workers made to the prosperity and well being of our country.
The Knights of Labor first celebration was held in 1882 in New York City. Two years later in 1884, the group held a parade on the first Monday of September and passed a resolution to hold all future parades on that day and to designate the day as Labor Day.
As with many of our holidays, this day is celebrated with food, family and fun. So let’s cook up some last days of summer fun, starting with the ribs from the ACafe ‘dem bones book.
Choose your flavor by Style Guide. My favorite is from our Americana Style Guide™. Add some Spicy Baked Beans, Grilled Veggies, Potato Salad, a little Coleslaw, a dessert and believe me, nothing says summer like Peach Cobbler (with a little twist), a cold beverage or two and you’re all set to Enjoy!
SPICY BAKED BEANS
This baked bean recipe is a must in everyone’s repertoire.
6 bacon slices, cut up (turkey bacon can be used)
2 cans (1 lb. 12 oz. each) baked beans
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. bourbon (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp. instant coffee
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Seasoned Salt
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
In small skillet, brown bacon until soft; drain fat and set aside. In 13x9x2- inch casserole, combine beans, brown sugar, bourbon, onion, coffee, mustard, Seasoned Salt and hot pepper sauce. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Arrange bacon on beans. Bake, uncovered, in 375° F oven for 40 minutes.
Makes 8 servings
GRILLED ZUCCHINI and SQUASH
Grilled veggies are great for any occasion
3 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Clean the zucchini and squash.
Slice into 1/3-inch strips, toss into bowl with the olive oil and kosher salt and pepper.
Place in hot grill, cook for 1 ½ minutes on each side.
Remove and keep warm until ready to serve, also good room temperature.
You can add red, green, and yellow bell peppers, eggplant or asparagus for some extra color and added flavor to the mix.
You can’t celebrate the last hurrah of summer with some good o’fashion potato salad
8 red skin potatoes
1 jar dill pickle relish
Boil potatoes with skin on them until you can put fork in them not to soft. Drain and let cool, then scrap skin off, set aside.
Boil eggs, peel and set aside.
In large bowl using a grater, potato’s and eggs, add dill relish (do not add juice from relish), add mayonnaise to you desire of texture.
GRILLED CORN ON THE COB
There’s nothing like fresh sweet roasted corn
8 Medium ears corn, husked and desilked, with ends trimmed
8 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
½ tbsp. sea salt
½ tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
Combine butter, salt and pepper, and mix well.
Center each ear of corn on a square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Liberally spread surface of ears of corn with butter mixture. Fold in ends of aluminum foil and roll up ears of corn.
Corn may be placed on the grill for 10 to 12 minutes, with grill lid down, or directly on the coals and turned frequently for about 8 minutes.
For some extra flavor try adding a little cayenne or cumin to your spice mixture. Adding fresh chopped basil at the end also enhances the flavor.
PEACH BLUEBERRY CRUMB
This is one of my favorite end of summer desserts. The combination of the tart blueberries and summer ripe peaches are a wonderful taste sensation.
2 cups blueberries
2 cups peaches (sliced)
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. brandy (optional)
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl lightly mix blueberries, peaches, sugar, cinnamon and brandy together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter; mix at low speed until crumbly or with a fork until crumbly.
Pour fruit mixture into an 11 by 7 or 12 by 8 baking dish. Sprinkle crumb mixture over filling.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until top is a nice golden brown.
Serve warm with whipped cream or French vanilla ice cream.