Up & Coming Weekly

August 25, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 14 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 14 UCW AUGUST 26-SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 Many people look forward to Labor Day weekend because it offers one last extend- ed break to enjoy summer weather. Though summer does not officially end until September is nearly over, for many people Labor Day, which is cel- ebrated annually on the first Monday in September, marks the unofficial end of summer. But Labor Day is more than just one final chance to embrace the relaxed vibe of summer and soak up some rays. In fact, Labor Day boasts a unique his- tory that's worth celebrating for a variety of reasons. The United States Department of Labor notes that Labor Day is a celebration of American workers that dates back to the 19th century. The day is meant to commemorate the contributions workers in the United States have made to the nation, helping to make it one of the strongest and most prosper- ous countries in the world. Despite the fact that municipal legislation sur- rounding Labor Day was initially introduced in the 1880s, debate remains as to just who should be cred- ited with proposing a day to honor American workers. Some records suggest that Peter J. McGuire, who served as general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and cofounded the American Federation of Labor, deserves the credit for Labor Day. However, the Department of Labor notes that many people believe a machinist named Matthew Maguire (no relation to Peter) was the first to pro- pose a holiday honoring workers in 1882. At that time, Maguire was serving as secretary of New York's Central Labor Union, which later adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic. The first Labor Day was ultimately celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in accordance with the plans made by the Central Labor Union, which strongly suggests that Maguire does, in fact, deserve the credit for coming up with the holiday. Labor Day is worth celebrating because, without the contributions of millions of workers every year, the United States would not be the success story it is and has been for more than 200 years. In addition to the United States, many countries across the globe, including Canada and Australia, have their own versions of Labor Day. Labor Day weekend is often dominat- ed by backyard barbeques and trips to the beach. With social distancing in the coronavirus era, this Labor Day week- end celebrants and workers should remember that Labor Day can be a time to reflect on the value of hard work. Those who want to be more in touch with the meaning behind the holiday can look for additional ways to cel- ebrate it. Research local industry and shop local when possible. Giving your business to a locally owned store increases the invest- ment back into your lcoal economy. While many people are off on Labor Day, essential workers may not be. Bring lunch to a police station or firehouse, or simply thank workers you come across, such as grocery store employees, for doing their jobs. Active military who are deployed may be missing home, especially during national holidays. Send a care package to them that they can enjoy overseas. Purchase items made domestically to support national industry. Bosses can reach out to employees with words of praise and encouragement. Too often employees are told what they need to improve rather than what they are doing right. A few words of gratitude can buoy spirits. Employers can start the three-day weekend early by enabling workers to leave a few hours early on the Friday preceding the holiday weekend. Labor Day: A history worth celebrating a STAFF REPORT EVENTS It is easy to think that Labor Day commemorates the unofficial end of summer rather than the North American worker. Expand your grilling horizons a STAFF REPORT Burgers, chicken or steaks may be grilling staples, but many other foods are equally at home cooking over an open f lame. Shrimp grills up perfectly and can be enhanced with mesquite, oak or pecan wood. Wrapping shrimp with a spinach leaf not only increases the wow factor when plating, it also helps keep the shrimp tender and moist during cooking. Wood-Grilled Shrimp and Yellow Peppers (Serves 4) Ingredients: 1/2 cup moistened wood chips or dry wood pellets 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (18 to 20 count), peeled and deveined 30 medium-size spinach leaves 2 yellow, red or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into quarters 1/4 cup olive oil Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Directions: Prepare a hot fire on one side of your grill for indirect cooking. Wrap each shrimp loosely with a large spinach leaf. Place the shrimp in a disposable alu- minum pan. Lightly season with sea salt and pepper, and then drizzle lightly with olive oil. For a charcoal grill, throw 1/2 cup moistened wood chips or dry wood pellets directly on the coals right before you want to grill. For a gas grill, enclose the wood chips or pellets in a foil packet with holes poked in the top; place the pac- ket on the grill grate over the heat source. When you see the first wisp of smoke from the wood, place the shrimp on the indirect side of the heat and the peppers on the direct side. Close the lid and grill for 8 minutes. Open the lid and turn the peppers. Grill for another 8 minu- tes. Open the lid and turn the peppers. Grill for another 8 minutes, then open the lid and transfer the peppers to the indirect side. Close the lid and transfer the pep- pers to the indirect side. Close the lid and grill for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the shrimp are cooked through and they have a pleasant, smoky aroma. To serve, cut the peppers into strips, arrange on plates, and top with the shrimp. This delicious recipe comes from "The Gardener & The Grill" (Running Press) by Karen Adler & Judith Fertig.

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