As August comes to a close, many Americans are turning their attention to the Labor Day holiday. They are likely thinking of backyard barbecues, hot dogs and hamburgers cooking on a grill, and possibly sharing a beverage or two with their neighbors. For some in warmer parts of the country, however, summer is still as hot as ever and the idea of standing around a hot grill may seem like a less than refreshing way to spend a holiday afternoon. A Labor Day ice cream social may be just the right thing to make that party held at the end of summer in the heat turn into a cool and relaxing get-together.
Whether visiting the 113th Presque Isle County Fair in Michigan, enjoying Cowboy Days in Evanston, Wyoming, or simply meeting a local church group this Labor Day weekend, many Americans have decided to make an ice cream social part of their celebration this year. While some events are hosted by local ice cream purveyors, others rely on community members to bring ice cream variations for participants to enjoy. Regardless of the specifics, however, ice cream makes a welcome addition to any Labor Day socialization and helps wring out a last hurrah for the summer months. Soon after the holiday, the jingle of the ice cream truck will vanish from the neighborhood and ice cream will relinquish its place as king of deserts to cakes, cookies and pies until the end of another school year.
Americans unaware of any local ice cream socials in their areas for Labor Day can easily host their own with very little effort in their backyards. Preparations can range from the quick and simple to the elaborate and can include all store-bought ingredients or feature only fresh fruits and homemade fare. Citizens finding themselves lacking in the appropriate equipment have nothing to fear, either, as there are several ways to make ice cream at home without an ice cream maker to be found online. One great resource is an article called, “6 Ways to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine,” where descriptions and links to several recipes and methods can be found.
Also, many of the traditional barbecues already in the works for Labor Day will have ice cream at the ready, even if the event is not advertised as a social. Unless the party takes place in a part of the country where temperatures have already dropped below the 70s, which is very few parts of the country at the beginning of September in an age of global climate change, frozen deserts will remain a refreshing summer treat for kids and adults alike. Whether topped with some late season Georgia peaches, mixed with blueberries, or simply drizzled with hot fudge and crowned with a cherry, a Labor Day celebration should have an ice cream finishing touch of some sort for cooling down the guests after the gas and charcoal grills wrap up their work on the main dishes.
Whether homemade or store-bought, plain, topped, or in a sundae, ice cream is guaranteed to be present at events from coast to coast this weekend. Even those with dietary restrictions will find cool deserts that meet their needs ranging from frozen yogurt to shaved ice. With summer winding down, Labor Day is America’s last chance to make the most of the social calendar and ice cream is just the thing to ensure that the party stays cool from beginning to end.
By David Morris