Even though the calendar indicates the fall season is right around the corner, Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer when the kids head back to school and family vacations end.
But, as Southern Californian’s know, the hot weather lingers long into September and October.
Considered a day of rest for American workers, Labor Day is next Monday, September 2. Originally coined as the “workingmen’s holiday,” the annual holiday is observed on the first Monday of September.
With its origins steeped in history as early as the Industrial Revolution where workers toiled on the job 12 hours a day, seven days a week often in unsafe working conditions and accompanied by low wages, the unofficial holiday at that time, was first recognized in 1882 by the Central Labor Union as a holiday for workers.
But it was the abject working conditions that sparked worker protests, rallies, strikes and riots.
In 1894 striking workers of Chicago’s Pullman Palace Car Company that built railroad sleeping cars walked off the job. They boycotted the company, protesting wage cuts, layoffs and the firing of union representatives that subsequently led to halting railway traffic nationwide due to a lawsuit by the American Railway Union representing the striking workers.
Created by the Federal Labor Union that became vocal in protecting workers, Labor Day became an official holiday in 1894 after Congress legalized it, honoring those in the American workforce.
In observance of the newly established annual holiday, events included a street parade exhibiting “the strength and esprit de corps of trade and labor organizations,” festivals and picnics.
With numerous ways to honor the three-day-weekend, activities in cities and towns across America today include parades, athletic events, picnics and barbeques.
As the tradition continues 119 years later, the annual September holiday doesn’t necessarily put an end to hard-to-resist dining alfresco by gathering friends and family to celebrate the unofficial end of the summer season.
So whether your plans for the holiday weekend are simple or a bit more extravagant, take advantage of summer berries with this recipe for Three Berry Cream Pie that can be served to your dessert loving guests indoors or out.
Three Berry Cream Pie
1 frozen prepared pie crust
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. of strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
1 6 oz. basket of raspberries- rinsed and well dried
1 6 oz. basket of blueberries- rinsed and well dried
Prepared pie crust: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick pie crust several times with tines of a fork. Bake pie crust 10 to 12 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Filling: Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Beat in the heavy cream and vanilla extract until fluffy and well-mixed. In a separate bowl, carefully mix together the berries.
Assemble pie: Spoon two-thirds of the cream mixture in prepared pie crust and smooth over the top. Spoon two-thirds of the berries over the cream mixture. Spoon remaining cream mixture in the center and top with the rest of the berries in a mound formation in the middle.
Chill for 1 to 4 hours.
Makes about 6 servings