The first Monday in September is a national holiday in honor of the working men, women and teens in America. A celebration is usually had with friends, family or both as most workers have the day free from labor. Is Labor Day free from labor if men and women – usually women – spend a day or two preparing all the food for party guests?
Going all natural is arguably less than half the work and ten times healthier. Check out the local Farmer’s Markets for the freshest fruits, vegetables and nuts. Union County FM in Blairsville is open Tuesday evenings from 4 until 8 pm and Saturday mornings from 7 until 1 pm.
Purchase Georgia peaches, plums, apples, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, cantaloupes, melons and raspberries. Choose several vegetables, such as broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, banana, red and yellow bell peppers, corn, pearl onions and green beans. Green peanuts are great to boil in sea salt or crab boil mix.
- Wash all fruits and veggies in a sink full of cool water and one cup of white vinegar. Lay the fruits and veggies on a clean dish towel to dry. Fill large wine goblets or Hurricane glasses with grapes, tomatoes, baby carrots, etc.
- Fill two large metal washtubs with crushed ice. Place the goblets in the ice, one tub for fruit and the other for veggies.
- Place larger fruits and veggies in glass or clear plastic bowls and set them on the ice. Have several paring knives on the table for adults to peel and slice larger fruits for children and themselves.
- Use warmers to melt caramels and milk chocolates for dipping fruit, or not.
- Homemade ranch dressing is great for dipping veggies.
- Assign each person or family a meat to bring to the party. Stay clear of processed meats such as wieners. Explain the “natural theme” to guests and ask that they bring only grass-fed, free-range meats unadulterated with antibiotics and hormones. The meats can be pre-cooked before bringing or brought raw for grilling at the party.
- Steam the corn and be careful not to over-cook the green beans.
- Offer iced-tea sweetened with cane sugar, fresh fruit punch, juices or fresh lemonade.
- Top off the meal with homemade ice-cream made with Mayfield milk and cream from the Mayfield dairy in Blairsville.
Compost fruit and veggie peels, cores, rinds, etc. Keep a source of warm water and soap near the outdoor cook while handling raw meats. Add a fresh cole slaw or garden salad to the meal. Eat, drink lemonade and be happy that you have a job to need a holiday from.