It’s a holiday (or used to be)

This coming Monday is Labor Day. This is the only holiday that has always been on Monday, so therefore it has not fallen to the changes that some of our other holidays have. It is still celebrated on the first Monday of September, just as it has been for many years.
The Knights of Labor in New York City first celebrated Labor Day in 1882 and 1884. Labor Day is now a legal holiday throughout the United States and Canada. It is just about midway between July 4th and Thanksgiving, which is why the first Monday of September, was chosen as this holiday.
Labor Day has always signaled the official end of summer fun. Many families plan their last get-together of the summer, their last trip to the lake or coast, or their last camp out for Labor Day weekend. In south Texas, we will have lots more weekends with good warm weather (hot, actually), however, in other places, the weather is already cooling off and the leaves are beginning to turn. Temperatures have dropped slightly especially at night, and according to what I’ve been reading in the paper, the fishing is pretty good. Of course, what with Hanna hitting and being followed a couple of weeks later by two more hurricanes, I’m not sure there is any fishing going on.
School used to start the Tuesday after labor, but that changed a long time ago, with classes starting in the middle of August and different times. This year of the Pandemic, some children are going to school, others are learning “virtually” and still others are being home schooled.
This year has been a totally different one than we are all used to. We haven’t really gotten to celebrate any of our usual holidays since everything started closing down in March. And, we were discouraged from having any type of celebration to stop the spread of the virus. All of the things we usually do can no longer be done, at least not in the way we have done them before. Churches were closed, we’re not allowed to go visit anyone in a hospital nor in a nursing home, and this is very hard on the old folks. My friend is in Victoria in an assisted living place and they no longer get to socialize, their meals are brought to their rooms and that’s about it. She’s lucky in that they have a garden area with raised boxes for planting and she can go outdoors and work there as long as no one else is out there.
Now, our churches are opened back up to limited capacity, and in my area, we are allowed to watch Mass on TV and it is our Sunday service. Since I’m close to our Mission Church, St. Ann’s, I have sometimes gone there, we practice “social distancing” pretty well and it’s always interesting. The capacity there is about 40 or so, and there are usually that many attending. Our pastor has started streaming Mass from our church, and so have many other churches. I went to Mass last Sunday in Moore and there were about 14 people in the church.
Well, on the off chance you do get to celebrate Labor Day, here’s a delicious salad. I have eaten it several times at meetings and such and it truly is good, and makes a lot!
Grape Salad
16 oz sour cream
16 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
Couple squirts of pure vanilla
Approx. 4 lbs green seedless grapes
Approx. 4 lbs red seedless grapes
Maybe 4 cups pecans
1 quart strawberries
Blend cream cheese and sugar together, then, add sour cream and vanilla. Fold in all other ingredients making sure to coat evenly. Save a little fruit and pecans for garnishing. This recipe will feed 15/20 people.
You can use the low fat sour cream and cream cheese. You can also use Splenda. You can use any other fruits you want. (If you use apples, be sure to do a lemon juice/water bath on them first, or slice them into 7-UP.)
Chinese Green Vegetable Dish
½ pound fresh broccoli
4 ounces fresh spinach (1/2 pack)
4 ounces fresh pea pods or ½ package frozen pea pods thawed
2 ribs of celery
4 green onions
1 medium yellow or sweet onion
6 tablespoons water
½ tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger root (peeled)
Wash vegetables. Cut broccoli tops into flowerets and stalks into thin strips, 2-inches long and ¼ -inch wide. Coarsely chop the spinach. Remove ends and strings from the pea pods. Cut the celery into ½-inch diagonal slices. Peel the onion and cut into 8 or more wedges and separate the layers. Cut the green onions into thin diagonal slices. Combine water and bouillon granules and stir to dissolve the granules.
Heat oil in wok or heavy skillet over high heat; add broccoli stalks, onion wedges and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add all the remaining vegetables and toss lightly. Add the water/bouillon mixture, toss and stir the vegetables until they are coated. Cook until liquid boils. Cover wok/skillet and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.