Labor Day (or dia del trabajador) lies on the first Monday of September in the USA.
We gather. We eat and drink excessive amount. And most likely get sunburned.
In the South we tend to flock towards the water as the temperatures are high in the 90’s and it’s just too much to handle.
Many people head to the Coast (of the Gulf of Mexico), some lay poolside and others go on the Lake.
Dad happens to live on Lake Pontchartrain. Lake Pontchartrain hosts the world’s longest bridge over water. That’s a fact.
His dream was to live on the water and have a sailboat. He worked hard, bought them both but traded in the boat for a dog after it sailed itself into his kitchen during Katrina. Now Dad gardens.
Dad also has a kitchen that could feed an army. So as the weekend approached we invited family and friends over and planned a menu. He was in charge of the pit + proteins, I the sauces + sides.
Argentina, I love you. Like a lot A LOT. I choose you as my home. You are my future. But damn us North Americans know how to man the grill. No disrespect, obvio. There’s just something about the flavor of the smoke (caused by a big flame) that doesn’t really happen in BA, ever.
Let’s talk smoke.
Dad uses a mix of charcoal and wood. That wood could be from a variety of trees. He prefers Pecan, Cherry, Mesquite or Apple. Monday we used Pecan. The backyard smelled divine.
He throws the cut wood in a bucket of water to soak while he’s prepping the pit. Why? For more wood smoke, that’s why! Once the charcoals are lit he adds the soaked wood to the pit, gets everything burnin’ and closes the lid.
The menu started with crab dip and a cheese & charcuterie board.
Then came alligator filets, local Smoked pork sausage and spicy deer sausage.
Steak, baby back ribs & pork tenderloin followed along with spicy shrimp that were served on top of a crispy salad.
Red potatoes, corn on the cob and smoked kale broke up the proteins.
It was a proper feast!
As the sun set we sipped on mate and chatted on the dock while the sky turned all kinds of colors.
It was so good being with the family and old friends. Can we do it again? Like, tomorrow?
How’d y’all celebrate?