When I was young I never understood why this day was called Labor Day. My parents did not work on this day and I was out of school. It seemed to me it should have been called something else. When I was young we had nine months of school and until I reached the 5th grade, we did not usually go to school until after Labor Day. It wasn’t celebrated as a big holiday like July 4th but was just a day usually spent at home. We did not own a barbecue grill so it wasn’t even a special day to cook a special meal.
I know Labor Day signifies the end of summer for many of us. The children are back in school and many people are in their normal routines now. However, in the South, the weather is still nice and there are still many warm fun days to experience before the cold weather returns. For the foothills of North Carolina, the cold weather usually returns around Thanksgiving or the first week in December. If you are farther South or on the coast of one of the Southern states, there might not be many days of really cold weather at all.
I know Southerners like to have barbecue ribs on the grill and I have been trying to think of other things we might have that would be really Southern for the grill. One of my families favorites is hamburgers. I always use 80/20 ground beef because it is so flavorful. Here is how I make our burgers.
For every pound of hamburger 80/20, I add
1/2 package of dry onion soup mix and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons of water
I mix all of this together and make four hamburger patties per one pound of ground beef
We cook the burgers on the grill. After they are cooked as desired, we add one slice of sharp cheddar cheese per burger and cover them with foil and let them rest for 15 minutes. This makes the burgers more juicy.
At our house, burgers are served with: mayonaise, mustard, ketchup, dill pickle slices, lettuce, tomato, onion, homemade chili and cole slaw. We now use multi-grain hamburger buns and they are really good.
If we have extended family or friends over we will add my baked beans to the menu and potato chips.
This isn’t a family tradition from my past but I am so glad that grilling as we call it in the South is now a big part of our culture. We have been using our grill over the holiday weekend and will continue to enjoy it through the continued golden days of Autumn in the South.
Happy Labor Day Everyone