The origins of Labor Day aren’t grandiose. In the late 19th century, President Grover Cleveland quashed a major railway strike that threatened the delivery of federal mail. Days later, as a consolation prize, he signed a law making it a national holiday, forcing greedy, often cruel, fat-cat bosses to give the working people one day off work every first Monday in September.
In the last century, Labor Day has evolved into a national patriotic celebration, resplendent with fireworks displays and the pageantry of parades. The most sublime part of the holiday is that we commemorate the strength and prosperity of the United States, and the contributions of the American worker, simply by not working.
Folks often spend the long weekend on a mini get-away or languid beach respite, marathon shopping and, of course, hosting the good old all-American backyard barbecue.
If you’re planning to grill out but want a new twist, try this recipe for the Big American Barbecue Bowl, served family-style in one large dish guaranteed to have a little something for everyone. Most of these veggies can be scored at your favorite local farmers market. It’s sure to minimize your prep time and maximize your party time, leaving “labor” out of the day.