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Lay back on Labor Day

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By Greg Summers

The sun is sinking in the sky a little earlier each evening.

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We’re losing a couple of minutes of daylight each day as autumn draws closer.

The hot, hazy days of summer are winding down, too, with daily temperatures decreasing.

It’s a sure sign that Labor Day, college football and fall are on the way.

Labor Day weekend marks the official end of summer.

The focus of Labor Day should always be on relaxing.

That was Congress’ full intention in June 1894 when it enacted the federal holiday.

According to the Department of Labor, the first Labor Day was held  Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City by the Central Labor Union to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers.

That day, it is believed that Peter McGuire organized a New York City parade that more than 10,000 workers marched in.

The idea quickly spread to other industrial cities with the growth of labor organizations. Twelve years later, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

And given that, don’t you want to relax as much as possible on Labor Day?

Here is a Labor Day recipe that may help you do that.

As one of the 154.4 million Americans age 16 and older who punch a time clock, you deserve a day of relaxation. 

Worth the Wait Pulled Pork lives up to its name. It makes a great Labor Day treat, since a slow cooker does all the labor.

It’s a real working man’s dish that can be made ahead of time, too.

The sauce recipe was included in “Cafeteria Corner,” an article about the Springs Mills’ cafeteria originally published in the Feb. 9, 1956, edition of The Lancaster News.

At the time, Springs’ food services was preparing about 36,322 employee meals each month and the Springs’ Cafeteria barbecue – be it chicken, pork or spare ribs – was one of the most popular dishes.

All of them were made with this mouth-watering sauce.

However, try not to peek while it’s cooking away.

Each minute that the heat escapes adds 20 minutes more of cooking time. 

It can be served with coleslaw on the side, or Southern-style with a layer of coleslaw on top of the barbecue.

If you’d like to fire up the grill on Labor Day, then Melanie Knight’s Blue Collar Burgers are worth a try.

Made with blue cheese and Montreal steak seasoning, these burgers get their robust, roll-up-your-sleeves flavor from a mixture of coarsely ground peppers, garlic and spices.

– Editor’s note; Melanie Knight contributed to this story.

Worth the Wait Pulled Pork

Barbecue sauce

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped

1 stick butter

1 13.5-ounce bottle ketchup

1/2 cup vinegar

Juice of one lemon

2 cups water

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cup apple juice

Roast

Ingredients

1 pork shoulder roast

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Directions

– In a saucepan, melt butter. Add chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes, but don’t brown the onions.

– Add ketchup, vinegar, water and spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, adding water as needed.

– Add lemon juice, stir and simmer for 15 minutes. Just before removing sauce from stove., stir in apple juice and cool.

– Using a paper towel, put a light coat of oil in the slow cooker and warm for 15 minutes. Add pork roast, salt and pepper and water. Turn the temperature to high for 1 hour, then reduce to low and cook 7 to 9 hours. Throughout the cooking process, try to resist peeking unless checking liquid level. If more water is needed, add 1/4 cup of water at a time.

– Using extreme caution, remove roast from the slow cooker and discard the fat and juices. Allow the pork roast to cool. Use a fork and knife or your hands to shred the roast. Once the chopping and shredding is complete, return the roast to the slow cooker. Mix in desired amount of barbecue sauce and cook, covered, on low for 1 hour.

– Serve of split buns with coleslaw on the side.

– Recipe from Gregory A. Summers, with sauce recipe from the Feb. 9, 1956, edition of The Lancaster News

Blue Collar Burgers

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef, shaped into 8 patties

1 teaspoon spicy Montreal steak seasoning

8 toasted onion hamburger buns

8 leaves romaine lettuce

3 tomatoes, sliced

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese, divided into 8 portions

8 slices provolone cheese

1 pack center-cut bacon, fried

1 small onion, thinly sliced

Mayonnaise, optional

Directions

– Preheat the grill to high.

– Season both sides of the hamburger patties with spicy Montreal steak seasoning. Grill for 3 minutes, then flip and grill another 4 minutes for medium rare burgers. Reduce heat to medium and grill longer if you like your burger more done. Once burgers are grilled to desired doneness, top with blue cheese, provolone and bacon. Remove from heat once cheese has melted.

– Assemble burgers in this order – bottom bun, mayonnaise, lettuce, patty, blue cheese, provolone, bacon, tomatoes, onion and top bun. Serve with steak fries, ketchup and ice-cold beverage of your choice.

– Recipe from Melanie Knight