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A Labor Day End of Summer Party

Say Farewell to the Fresh Flavors of Summer

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A Labor Day End of Summer Party

Tomatoes and Nectarine Centerpiece

Donna Pilato

Don't let summer slip away without a proper send-off. The calendar tells us that the seasons change in mid-September, but we all know that the unofficial end to summer is Labor Day. So before the routines and formality of autumn set in, enjoy one last casual summer party to say farewell to the lazy days of summer. Savor the fresh-picked taste of summer fruits and vegetables before they acquire the taint of cold storage. Stay out late to enjoy the final strains of summer's nightly seranade before homework, after-school activities, and early sunsets force us all indoors once again.

Setting the Stage

Naturally this will be an outside party. Choose colors for this party that are as ripe as a summer tomato, and as golden as a field of wheat during a summer sunset.

Be casual with your centerpieces. Large bowls or baskets filled with ripe tomatoes or peaches are easy to assemble, and economical because you can eat them once your party is done!

If you'd like to use a floral centerpiece, create one from beautiful orange/red Gerbera daisies.

Stock up on plenty of ice. The summer season may be ending, but it can still be pretty hot on Labor Day.

Be prepared for the hungry summer mosquitoes by lighting citronella candles and torches before the onset of dusk.

The Menu

Bruschetta - This easy appetizer can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last moment. Be sure to use the tomato option offered by Kyle.

Guinness Ribeye - Barbecue and Grilling Guide Derrick Riches serves up a flavorful marinade for your steaks.

Corn with Chile Lime Butter - The combination of mellow roasted corn with the zesty butter makes for an easy, stylish sidedish.

German Style Potato Salad - There's no mayonnaise in this salad - just plenty of tasty bacon.

Zucchini and Pancetta Salad - This salad will help you use up some of the vegetables from your summer harvest.

Watermelon Granita - A fun twist on the ubiquitous summer picnic fruit.

Mississippi Mud Cake - This luscious cake from Emeril Lagasse has the right attitude for casual entertaining.

Assorted beverages including beer, sangria, soft drinks and water.

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