Monday, September 3, 2012
Happy Labor Day!
When I was growing up, Labor Day was one of two "bookend" holidays that signaled the beginning and ending of summer vacation from school as well as the arrival and exit of summer neighbors escaping the cities of Chicago and Detroit for the relaxation of the lake. Just like clockwork, caravans would start arriving Memorial Day weekend, bringing with them kids, dogs, boats and the promise of a lively, fun summer. All too soon, the end of August would roll around and, with it, the last hurrah of summer. Labor Day was always filled with swimming, boating, grilling and partying; as if we all knew we had to pack a whole winter's worth of fun into that one weekend before all the summer families piled into their cars and decamped back to the city for the long, cold days ahead.
This year, I'm celebrating Labor Day weekend with the family of my heart. We had a cookout last night that brought back fond memories of holiday picnics of my youth. While we're not on the lake (so no boats), we still had plenty of adults and kids (about 20), dogs (five!), a man-size grill (huge), a big yard and oodles of food.
We, of course, had the holiday essentials: burgers, brats, hot dogs and watermelon plus a few extras like chocolate chip cookies, chips and salsa, salads, roasted veggies...
...shrimp and an enticing display of adult and kid friendly beverages.
Later in the evening, we capped things off around the fire pit in the back yard with hot, gooey, (what cookout is complete without them?) S'mores!
Break a graham cracker into two equal pieces. Place half of a Hershey chocolate bar on one graham cracker half. Toast a marshmallow over an open fire until golden brown. Place toasted marshmallow on top of chocolate bar; cover with other graham cracker and gently squish. Eat and enjoy!
Laughter was the music of the night and everyone had a wonderful time, including the dogs!
How are you spending this Labor Day weekend? What dishes are essential for cookouts in your family? For those of you outside the U.S., does your country have a holiday honoring workers? Do you have a holiday that signals the end (or beginning) of summer? What's your favorite goody to make over an open fire?
Labor Day isn't a traditional gift-giving holiday but I'm making it one here at TRD. One randomly selected person leaving a comment on today's blog will receive a book from our stash!