Cooking is a Labor of Love

Long weekends leave extra time for labor intensive cooking. That is why Labor Day weekend on Mendenhall was the perfect time to invest the extra energy into some recipes I’ve had bookmarked all summer. With the highs in the low 80s this weekend in North Carolina, it was another perfect weekend to break out the citronella candles and dine under the stars (or the stars through the limbs of my pecan tree).

I made arrangements of nearly dried green and blue hydrangea in ceramic pots and skipped the table-cloth to use wicker chargers to elevate simple black plates. The menu was full of ingredients just on their way out of season. Just like those white shoes, Labor Day marks the last weekend for some of our favorite summer produce. I won’t break the white shoe rule but you might see me continuing to serve watermelon, corn and tomatoes!

Between yeast dough rising and cheesecake chilling, the weekend left plenty of time for kayaking, dog walking and butterfly photographing. But my time in the kitchen was a true labor of love.

Labor of Love Labor Day Weekend Menu:

  • Gin Fizz Cocktails
  • Buttermilk Fantail Rolls
  • Herb Crusted Flank Steak with Olive and Tomato Relish
  • Corn on the Cob with Basil, Lime and Chipotle Butter
  • Watermelon, Tomato and Cucumber Salad
  • Peach Cheesecake with Balsamic Drizzle


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