It is almost that time of year again, when Swimming Pools officially close and the American worker is supposed to get a day of rest. This year Labor Day falls on September 6th 2010, for different years you may check out this little website!
Most of us love to celebrate our international holidays with days with a wonderful meal, family, and maybe even some entertainment.
Allow me to start off with some Labor Day Events throughout the USA.
Chicago, Illinois – Jazz Festival!
This years Chicago Jazz Festival will be held in Grant Park and goes from September 2nd to September 5th. A wide variety of Jazz musicians and performers will be on hand to entertain you and your family. Visit chicagofestivals.net for the complete line up and starting times.
Northampton, Massachusetts – ThreeCounty Fair!
Enjoy some good old boy entertainment with Big Foot Monster Trucks, Demolition Derby, Granny Pig racings, Battle of the bands, and more. The festivities are great for all ages and go from September 3rd through September 6th. For a complete listing of activities and dates please visit http://www.3countyfair.com/
Detroit, Michigan – Jazz Festival!
Another hit for Jazz lovers! On September 3rd to September 6th great musical talents like pianist Mulgrew Miller, trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, conductor/composer Maria Schneider and master drummer Roy Haynes and many other budding Talents will light up the fire of your musical jazz heart and keep the flame burning brightly. For a complete line up and further information please visit http://detroitjazzfest.com/10lineup.html
Cleveland, Ohio – National Cleveland Airshow!
Show your patriotism by spending a day with the U.S.Navy Blue Angels and other wonderful aviation teams. September 4th through September 6th. For location, tickets and schedule information visit: http://www.clevelandairshow.com/index.asp
Knoxville, Tennessee – Boomsday!
If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in Knoxville, TN on Labor Day weekend you will be treated to this free fireworks celebration, with vendors, entertainment, games and more. For important information please visit: http://www.boomsday-knoxville.com/
I don’t know about you, but just reading about all those fun activities made me hungry. So on to our next little section – Food!
Labor Day Picnic:
Picnic Chicken Recipe
(originally printed Taste of Home Magazine June/July 2007 pg 37)
Prep: 20 min.
3 tablespoons water
1-1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon each dried marjoram, thyme and rosemary, crushed
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup melted butter
12 chicken drumsticks
12 bone-in chicken thighs
CREAMY LEEK DIP:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 envelope leek soup mix
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs and water. In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs and seasonings. Divide butter between two 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes.
Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture, then coat with crumb mixture. Place in prepared pans. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 1 hour or until juices run clear, turning once. Cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate until chilled.
For dip, in a small bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, combine the yogurt, soup mix and cheese; fold in whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with cold chicken.
Tex-Mex black bean Wraps:
(Published at: http://busycooks.about.com)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed
1/3 cup chunky salsa
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
In medium bowl, place black beans and mash with a fork. Leave some beans whole for a chunky texture. Add salsa and mix well. Prepare bell pepper, tomato, and cheeses.
In small bowl, mash avocado with sour cream and lemon juice.
Spread bean mixture over tortillas and top with vegetables and cheeses. Place some avocado mixture over cheeses. Roll up sandwiches and serve.
Cream Cheese Almond Bars
(Found at: http://www.recipetips.com)
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 min.
1 cup butter
2 cups flower
½ cup powdered sugar
8 ounces softened cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup butter
1 ½ cups powdered sugar milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
Almond slivers for decoration
Combine butter, flour, and powdered sugar; beat until well blended.
Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, and almond extract. Beat until well blended.
Spread on top of the crust and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Combine butter, powdered sugar, and a small amount of milk; beat until smooth.
Add more milk if frosting is too thick to spread easily. If it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. Add almond extract.
Spread on top of bars and then sprinkle with sliced almonds.
For further recipe ideas you may wish to visit:
Now on to our little craft and decoration helpers also known as our kids! Why not make your life a lot easier by giving them something to do while you are working in the kitchen with feast preparations?
Let’s make job hats!
What does your child want to be when he or she gets older? Do they wear a specific type of hat to work? If yes, why not let them create a semblance of that hat for him/her to wear for Labor Day?
Or if you don’t want him/her to work with clue you may want to visit this website and order the kit for Career Visors.
Make Labor Day Bead Necklaces!
Blue, red & white craft beads
Some colorful craft rope
Help your child to cut the craft rope to length so it can be knotted closed and slides easily over their heads. Show them how to slide different colored beads over the string and ask them to tell you when they are almost filled up. Then give them the beads and tell them to make a pretty Labor Day Bead Necklace for everyone to wear during your festivities or dinner.
Let them create their own little designs and be sure to “uhh and ahh” appropriately.
For more creative crafting ideas you may want to visit:
TLC – how stuff works
The Kids Craft Zone (has bible crafts as well)
I hope these ideas got you off to a good start and maybe put you in the mood for cooking, celebrating and crafting. Since I didn’t even touch on the drinks for your celebration I will give you over to some of my fellow writers who have covered those topics admirably well.
Patrick Sheller: 6 Labor Day Drinks
Donna Thacker: Tot-Shots – Kid friendly Labor Day drinks
Heather Leigh: Refreshing Drinks for Labor Day
Bake: 1 hour + chilling