Do you remember why we get Labor Day off from work? It really was more of a protest than a parade in the beginning! Labor Day was first celebrated in September of 1894 as a way to appease the labor unions and workers after the Pullman Railway Strike.
The Pullman Company was caught in the nationwide economic depression. Orders for railroad sleeping cars declined, and George Pullman was forced to lay off hundreds of employees and cut the wages of those that remained. Pullman, Illinois was a company town and Pullman owned the banks and housing. When jobs were lost but rents remained the same, rioting broke out and railway cars were set on fire. President Cleveland sent troops and US Marshalls to break up the riots and some lives were lost. Legislation was rushed through both houses of Congress and President Cleveland signed the bill making it an official holiday just 6 days after the strike ended. Today, Labor Day has become the symbolic end of summer.
The political speeches are more low key and Labor Day is recognized as the last weekend of summer where family and friends gather for barbecues and picnics. It is a day of rest and parades. You can have a relaxing celebration with this easy yet festive menu and take the “labor” out of your holiday weekend. Absolutely everything can be made ahead and all the recipes are right here at your fingertips! When the guests arrive, all you have to do is pour the drinks, grill the chicken and set out the sides!
Green Chili Cheese Cornbread Poppers – You can add all kinds of things to put your own stamp on a muffin but this is one of my all time favorites! Bring on the basket of muffins and butter!
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Garlic Butter, Lime and Cotija Cheese – Everyone loves corn on the cob but this is extra special hot off the grill with yummy seasonings.
Cuban Citrus Chicken – I love the flavors of citrus and cuban spices that make this chicken really pop. It’s juicy and not your every day chicken for sure!
Cuban Style Black Beans – Let’s tie the Cuban flavor theme together with these spicy black beans that complement the chicken perfectly. Your friends will be asking for the recipe and be so thrilled when they see how easy it is.
Pineapple Coleslaw – My Mom’s special recipe and it is the perfect foil to the spice in the chicken and beans. Sweet, tart and crunchy! And easy too!
Amaretto Cheesecake Flan – What a lovely way to end the Labor Day Party with this light and creamy dessert. You can flavor it with anything that suites your fancy, amaretto just happens to be one of my favorites.
Easy as that! Relax and enjoy your Labor Day with friends and family!