Where did the summer go? The days are getting shorter, and the weather, while still hot, is subtly changing. I want to take advantage of that laid-back summer vibe before the hectic overscheduled fall begins.
I surveyed my friends and family about what they like to do on Labor Day. To take a moment and think about what they have done in the past and what they intend to do this year. Across the board, everyone said they intend to have or participate in a cookout. There seems to be a shared feeling that as the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day is the last great opportunity to enjoy a meal outside. Some folks said they were getting together with friends, and some said it would be a family affair.
I found it so interesting that what everyone wants to do is enjoy a meal with friends and family. They didn’t mention taking advantage of Labor Day sales, or catching up on chores. Some mentioned going to the beach, camping or hiking, but all finished with a cookout. Food, friends and family are at the center of our celebrations and connect us in ways that are important to our happiness.
At my house, the food for a Labor Day picnic can run the gamut from hot dogs to ribs. All my side dishes take advantage of the abundance of fruits and vegetables piling in fresh from local farmers. Corn, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, peaches — yum. I’m making myself hungry! These vegetables and fruits shout “summer,” and I’d better take advantage of what is available. I tend to make more than two side dishes for a cookout so everyone has options. It makes me happy to share beautiful, tasty and healthy dishes with my friends and family.