Monday, September 3, 2012

Let's Talk Labor Day

I thought it might be appropriate since this post falls on Labor Day to discuss the roots of this national holiday. I confess, I always took it for granted in that it was just a day that I sometimes got off from work, so I did a little digging.

The first Labor Day celebration occurred on September 5, 1882 in New York City. There's some debate as to who offered the suggestion to celebrate the working man but regardless, it was born from a desire by the Labor Union to commend those who toiled in industrial areas. By 1885, the day was celebrated in many urban, industrial cities. It was adopted into federal law in 1894. Back then, the day was celebrated by a parade followed by a festival. The purpose of this holiday was to bring attention and reform to child labor, long work days without compensation, safety issues, and to keep peace between labor and state/federal authorities while negotiating these reforms.

Labor Day means different things to different folks but most will agree that it and Memorial Day help mark the seasons. For example, it's customary for the cowboy to wear a straw hat from Memorial Day until Labor Day because of the summer temperatures. On Labor Day, he exchanges that straw headgear for a felt hat in preparation for a cooler clime.

In doing a search online, I discovered that a lot of ranches celebrate Labor Day as a means of marking the end of summer. Of course that means gathering for rodeo type activities, bbq and a dance. If you've never been to a rodeo, you're missing out on a rare treat. It's an American tradition that goes back as far as the 1700s when the Spanish vaqueros had a great influence on the American cowboy.

So naturally, this leads me to a discussion on bbq. There are a lot of great ideas on how one goes about making a great brisket or ribs but I think I'll share my recipe for bbq sause that got handed down to me from my elderly neighbors.

BBQ Sause

1 cup ketsup
1/2 cup to 1 cup water (depending on how thick you want it)
1/4 cup margarine
2 - 3 garlic cloves (Pressed)
1 TBLS molasses
1 TBLS worcheshire sause
1 TBLS paparika
1 TBLS fresh squeezed lemon

Bring to soft boil over medium heat and stir until butter is melted.

Hope you enjoy,
Ciara Gold


Ginger Simpson said...

Great and timely post...and all I can say about the recipe is a "supposed" yum. It's raining here in TN, so anyone planning to mark this special day with a BBQ is out of luck. Hope you're enjoying a special day of rest and fun.

Ellen O'Connell said...

For some reason, reading this the similarity in the rules for women in force when I was young (white shoes only after Memorial Day and before Labor Day) and the straw versus felt cowboy hat struck me and started me chuckling. Nice to know the guys had this kind of thing too, although I wonder if anyone stares at a straw hat in disapproval in mid-September.

Alison E. Bruce said...

The sun is shining and I'm going to have my son fire up the barby to make dinner. I wasn't sure before, but that recipe has me craving something from the grill.

Ciara Gold said...

Thanks all for stopping by. As usual, I was at school all day. Yeah, I remember my mom talking about rules for fashion and wanting my purse to match my shoes. White shoes for spring and summer and brown or black for fall/winter. Now adays you can't hardly find white shoes that aren't sandles of some kind. Oh and gloves. When I was in grade school, we wore gloves and hats to church. I think that kinda got fazed out around Junior High where we only had to do that on Easter Sunday.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Ciara, you made me hungry for barbecue! Thanks for the history and the recipe.

Meg said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! BBQ! Love it. But I go for Baby Ray's. Easier than cooking up my own recipe. ;-)