The 2015 Al Dente Labor Day Guide to Cooking Something Awesome Because Summer Is Almost Over And You’re Hungry

Labor Day weekend means three things in my house:

  1. I ought to give some thought to my father’s birthday present.
  2. School starts very soon.
  3. It’s going to get cold.

I don’t have favorite seasons, namely because my hometown of Syracuse, N.Y. has four of them and they are un-re-markable. There’s the hot humid summer that lasts from mid-May to mid-September, followed by 4 to 6 weeks of fall, a period long enough to see the leaves fall but not rake them before the four-month winter sets in. Ah yes, winter, she of the 200 inches of lake effect snow and 30-below-zero windchills. That breaks and we get about 4 weeks of rain and mud before summer starts again. Sometimes in March or October, you can experience all four of these seasons in one day.

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Fall, of course, will come too soon. I write this from underneath an enormous maple tree that is sure to drop anywhere from 3,000 to 12,000 leaves on my yard. Not to be outdone, the two oaks and a smaller maple in my side yard will coat my lawn and street with another 40,000 leaves. And, since we live in Syracuse, I’ll have about 20 minutes between the leaves dropping and the onset of snow. For yet one more year, the leaves won’t be touched until after the spring thaw.

Take these next three days and avenge the end of summer. Stake your claim in the kitchen or at the grill and say, “Dammit all! Summer will not end until I say so!” 

Your grocer and butcher have meat. Your fishmonger has fish. The farmer’s markets have veggies. Buy them all! Make those mussels boil. Smoke that brisket. Cole that slaw. Win these last days of your season. Do it for yourself. Do it for me. Do it for the children.

Do it for America!

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Three Different Brisket Recipes

One Semi-Complicated Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe

Not-At-All Complicated Meat Dishes

Photo Jun 28, 12 24 50 PMBurgers, Because America!

See the froth? It's time to flip your 'shrooms.

See the froth? It’s time to flip your ‘shrooms.

Not-Meat Burgers for the Vegetarian Chick You Invited To Your Cookout


Fish! Because It’s Good! (Except for Tilapia)

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Side Dishes Because You Got Invited To A Cookout

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