Labor Day 2014 arrives on September 1. It came about as a federal holiday in 1894 after President Grover Cleveland wasn’t able to break up a railroad strike. It’s observed on the first Monday of every September.
During the height of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, the average non-farm worker worked 12-hour days and often seven days a week. And all that just to eke out a basic living. Even children as young as 5 or 6 worked in factories (this even despite child labor laws in some states). What’s more, these workers often toiled in very unsafe working conditions, not even having enough sanitary facilities, breaks, and access to fresh air.
Labor unions soon started organizing and held work strikes and rallies to protest these untenable working conditions. NYC workers – upwards of 10,000 – took off from work (unpaid) on September 5, 1882 to march from city hall to Union Square, thus instigating the first Labor Day parade.
The idea of a “workingman’s holiday” soon caught on for early September and was made in to law by President Cleveland 12 years after the first parade.
Today, Labor Day also has become something akin to the “unofficial” end of summer.
It’s thus a day of parades, pool parties, relaxation, trips to the beach, and lots and lots of food!
Barbecues are a popular pastime on Labor Day. With that in mind, read below for an easy barbecue Tex Mex dish: barbecue ribs (serves 4-6).
You will need:
- 2 teaspoons of dry mustard
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- ½ brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1 cup ketchup
- About 4 pounds of pork loin back ribs
- Heat your gas grill or charcoal to medium heat.
- Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, and dry mustard in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove half of the sauce and set aside to serve with the ribs.
- Place the ribs over the medium-hot coals/on the grill.
- Cover and grill for 10 minutes.
- Baste with the sauce and continue grilling, uncovered, and turn every few minutes.
- Grill for another 20 minutes or until the meat is thoroughly.
- Serve the ribs with the set-aside sauce.
Labor Day is supposed to be a day of rest. So instead of cooking (work!), why not come to a Matitto’s near you and allow us to help you celebrate Labor Day with ease.
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