Labor Day

This summer has been a whirlwind of so many fun and exciting events that it’s a miracle that I’m still standing. In previous summers, nearly every Sunday has been spent relaxing and having a cookout with my family, either at my parent’s house or at the beach. I haven’t been to the beach once this summer, and I don’t even remember the last time I was at my parent’s for a cookout. Why is it September already?!

Therefore, Labor Day was designated as Leahy day. I hadn’t seen my parents in almost a month, and Aurelia has started talking without me. She can say Tyler and Moriah but hasn’t seen me enough to know how to say Chel. Don’t cry…don’t cry…

I think she still likes me, though.

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Still–definitely time for a family cookout. Given the chillier weather (only 70 degrees!), we decided on chili.

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It was pretty awesome that nearly our entire dinner was fueled by my parent’s garden, starting with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and jalapenos.

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I let Tyler chop all the onions.

Garlic and tomatoes are much kinder to my eyes.

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Since we planned on using two huge pots for the chili (one for spicy and one for not-so-spicy), Ty built a fire so we wouldn’t have to try to jam them in the grill.

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We started the chili by heating oil up in the pots, then cooking the peppers and onions. When the onions turned transluscent, we added the spices and garlic.041

After the garlic was browned, we added the tomatoes, beans, more spices, and molasses.

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One of the nicest things about cooking chili = you can set it and (with the exception of stirring a few times) forget it!

My friend Shelby did really well at handling a Leahy cookout. 045

066But everyone else started going a little crazy.

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We all agreed Aurelia wore it best. She looks just like a green-haired Annie! So flippin’ cute.

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I had a million hint of lime chips followed by a bowl of Dina’s zucchini salad: chopped zucchini, grape tomatoes, Italian dressing, Parmesan and Asiago cheeses.

And what I’d been waiting for:

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Since Mom provided all the chili components, I took care of the toppings: minced onions, shredded cheddar, avocado, and oyster crackers and served fresh Italian bread on the side.

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Now it can be September.

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

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