As Labor Day approaches, you know you get a Monday off, but have you ever wondered why? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this holiday was created to honor hard-working Americans just like you. For your continuous contributions to social and economic development, you get a day away from the job. It only makes sense to commemorate the day by relaxing!
That said, many homeowners take advantage of this holiday by throwing a backyard soiree with family and friends. These events require effort - cooking, cleaning and setting up the backyard - but you can plan strategically to ensure your Labor Day is totally labor-free. Here are a few party preparation tips to minimize the workload of being a host:
Prep the pool
Cleaning your pool can be an involved task. Depending on how regularly you maintain it, you could spend hours sweeping out sunken leaves, balancing the chemicals and skimming away insects that have decided to take a dip. If you plan on placing swimming on the agenda for your Labor Day party, clean the pool ahead of time.
We know what you're thinking - there's no telling what a will happen to the pool overnight. True, any amount of cleaning you do beforehand won't prevent a storm from sprinkling the water with leaves, but it can lessen the work. If you sweep and balance the chemicals the night before, Labor Day morning will require a bit of skimming at most.
Instead of slaving over the perfect punch before the party on Labor Day, make a drink that gets better with time: Sangria. This deliciously popular red-wine beverage must sit for several hours in order for the fruit flavors to marry and create that intoxicating sweetness. Plus, it's super simple to make, adding to the labor-free vibe you're going for.
If you're looking for a party-pleasing recipe, consider this one from The Kitchn. For this drink, you can use your favorite red wine, which lets you control the sweetness. To make six to eight servings, cut up two apples and two oranges leaving the peels on. Add the chopped fruit in with one-half cup of brandy and a bottle of red wine. When guests arrive, pour in two to three cups of sparkling water and serve.
You can easily make large batches of sangria
Set up yard games
A party isn't complete without games, and if you're hosting the event outside, be sure to set up activities in the yard. This can be done the night before to avoid working on Labor Day, and certain games require no effort at all. For instance, if you incorporate a putting green during your turf installation, you need only a putter and a ball to have a great time.
Otherwise, popular party games like cornhole, horseshoe and bocce ball can be put out in the backyard the evening before the party. You might also forgo organized games altogether and just provide guests with a bin full of Frisbees, baseballs and soccer balls for carefree fun.
Go with make-ahead food
Don't spend your whole day timing cooking with the start of the party. If you want food ready when guests arrive, just make snacks the night before. If you opt for cold appetizers, you need only take the dishes out of the refrigerator and set them on the table. Popular options include:
- Deviled eggs.
- Tortilla pinwheels.
- Shrimp cocktail.
- Taco dip and chips.
- Cheese balls and crackers.
Otherwise, make dishes that can be heated in the oven but prepared ahead of time. Martha Stewart highlighted a few, including this warm, cheesy artichoke dip with Fontina. You can even make the dish up to a month ahead of time!
With so many variations for deviled eggs, like mixing in avocado, you can easily find a recipe for any palate
Of course, dips aren't your only option. Consider making these bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers from Taste of Home. The blend of spicy peppers with the sweet brown-sugar seasoning makes this unique snack a crowd pleaser.
With a little preparation, you can easily throw an incredible Labor Day celebration without lifting a finger on that day!