The History of Labor Day

Labor Day Stamp USDOL

In North America and Canada, the first Monday in September is Labor Day. The holiday serves as a celebration of workers and commemorates their respective economic and social achievements.

Labor (Labour) Day in Canada has its origins in an 1872 demonstration held by the Toronto Trades Assembly (TTA).  Serving as Canada’s first significant campaign for worker’s rights, the demonstration was created to garner the release of 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union (TTU). During this time, trade unions were illegal and the TTU leaders were imprisoned for striking to campaign for a nine-hour working day.

The TTA held large parades and picnics and received a large public following.  The parades became so empowering that Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald repealed “anti-union” laws and in June of 1874 parliament passed the Trade Unions Act. Contemporary Canadian celebrations of Labor Day consist of picnics, fireworks, trips, and parades.

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Sweet Inspiration: Spotlight on Destined Image in Baltimore

Chocolate-covered strawberries are a favorite treat from Destined Images.

What does it take to start your own catering business? Just doing it, apparently. Monique Brownson is an entrepreneur with big plans for her Baltimore-based catering business, Destined Image. Although, she is still in the midst of her humble beginnings, Brownson takes a positive attitude, even when met with the challenges of being short-staffed, short on cash, working as her own marketing consultant, and planning events dependent on “word of mouth” support. By and by, the young entrepreneur is increasing her contacts and getting her name out, which is one of her biggest goals for her company.

Brownson realized her love for cooking at the age of ten, under the watchful eyes of her grandmother. She credits her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother for her love of cooking, but according to Brownson her grandmother was the first one to light the flame of this passion. “She started me out on frying chicken wings.” One might wonder where you go from there, but Brownson quickly answers, “…then it moved on to biscuits and baking cakes…” and as any child would acknowledge, her favorite part was licking the bowl. In 2006, after a brief stint of unemployment, Brownson put her cooking to the test by having bake-sales. She now coooks dinners, caters church affairs, and plans events. One of the annual events for Destined Image is “Jazz Poetic Love Notes,” a Valentine’s Day banquet, where Brownson’s culinary skills are front and center in an elegant display.

Destined Image chocolate covered pretzels

The signature food for Destined Images is chocolate, which speaks to the owners self admitted status as a “Chocolate-aholic.” However, this is not the only reason chocolate is the signature food. At first, her focus was on arts and crafts, center pieces and gift baskets, and although she still provides those services, she  changed her focus after conducting a little independent research. Brownson recalls looking on the internet and seeing how much companies charged for chocolate-covered strawberries. It was an eye-opening experience for the young entrepreneur. Now Destined Image gives their chocolate-covered confections top-billing.  “I’m gearing more to chocolate-covered lollipops and strawberries,” Brownson says. However, she admits she will pretty much dip anything her customers ask her to dip.

Destined Image carrot cake

It’s that kind of desire to please her customers that leads her to excel. Brownson acknowledges her baby daughter as her inspiration to branch out, and she attributes the key factor to her success to her will to keep trying. “Keep trying. Keep going!” Brownson urges, “When it doesn’t work the first time…try it again the next year. Make changes….do your best and put everything out there.” She advises, “Find out the shakes and the quakes and correct them for the next time and keep going.” She will take her own advice as Destined Image takes on some new events next year  — a Mother’s Day brunch and Christmas party are in the works. She is also equipping herself with additional training so she can begin to include wedding cakes in her list of services.  Moreover, Brownson is now making strides to cater for groups of 500 and over.

In the meantime, Brownson will keep on doing what she’s doing — providing delicious quality food and moving Destined Image towards the destiny she sees just over the horizon.

To contact Destined Image for your catering needs, email Monique Brownson at destinedimage@yahoo.com.

Article by Monica Johnson

North America Tea Punch Recipe

Fresh fruit gives your punch punch! http://samovarlife.com/

 ATTN: DIE HARD iced tea fans:

Try this 1839 Tea Punch Recipe from The 1839 cookbook, The Kentucky Housewife, by Mrs. Lettice Bryanon: 

Tea Punch

Make a pint and a half of very strong tea in the usual manner; strain it, and pour it boiling (hot) on one pound and a quarter of loaf sugar. (That’s 2 1/2 cups white sugar) Add half a pint of rich sweet cream, and then stir in gradually a bottle of claret or of champaign (sic). You may heat it to the boiling point, and serve it so, or you may send it round entirely cold, in glass cups.

Or just try this contemporary recipe from http://allrecipes.com/:

Tea Punch

Ingredients    

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup strong brewed black tea
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 4 cups prepared lemonade
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

Directions

  1. In a pitcher, combine sugar and tea. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in orange juice, pineapple juice and lemonade. Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours.
  2. Just before serving, pour chilled juice mixture into a punch bowl and stir in ginger ale.

 

Citrus Tea Punch                            A Taste of Home