labor day lunch, no picnic

Labor Day lunch.

The September date on which the U.S. and Canada celebrate Labour day (Labour Day) was chosen to avoid the putatively un-American leftist, socialist, communist (and, not incidentally, Haymarket massacre*) associations of May 1, the day on which the rest of the world still honors labor, laborers, “..the class demands of the proletariat, and..universal peace”, as International Workers’ Day.

Americans prefer picnics.

To balance things off, today Barry and I mostly enjoyed a good [rainy day, indoor] lunch and listened throughout the afternoon, and continuing through this evening, to American music, some of it associated with the best leftist American values.

Breakfast room activists.

The meal itself included 6 fresh eggs from pastured chickens and 4 slices of bacon from pastured pigs, all from John Stoltzfoos’ Pennsylvania Millport Dairy Farm in the Union Square Greenmarket, one small ripe red/green heirloom tomato from Norwich Meadows Farm, sliced, and 3 golden grape tomatoes from Alex’s Tomato Farm in the Saturday 23rd Street farmers market, all seasoned with local sea salt from P.E. & D.D. Seafood and freshly ground black pepper, then heated in a bit of olive oil, sprinkled with chopped fresh za’atar before being arranged on the plates on top of the leaves of one small head of purple romaine, both herb and lettuce from TransGenerational Farm, and the eggs fried inside the same very large well-seasoned cast iron pan in which the bacon had been slowly cooked (but only after a little rich Vermont Creamery butter had first been added), seasoned with sea salt and black pepper, sprinkled with a pinch of the now powdered remains of some light-colored home-dried habanada pepper purchased fresh from Norwich Meadows Farm in 2017, scattered with chopped leaves of some flowering pericón (‘Mexican tarragon’) from Norwich Meadows Farm; there were 2 breads: toasted slices from the heal of a loaf of Pain d’Avignon seven grain bread (rustic, whole wheat, honey, sesame- sunflower-flax seed, oats) from Chelsea Foragers Market and untoasted slices of a much fresher loaf of ‘Whole wheat Redeemer Bread’ (wheat, water, salt) from Lost Bread Co.

the music was by Roy Harris, his Symphony 1933 (Symphony No. 1), the Louisville Orchestra conducted by Jorge Mester (a little more on Harris here)


“I haven’t been able to find a really good compact summary of the strike anywhere on line, although there is this setting of the broader context in a discussion from Howard Zinn. I would definitely welcome any other suggestions. I can however offer information on some of the numbers involved in the physical conflict itself, quoted here from the Kansas Heritage Group:

“The total forces of the strikebreakers both government and private were [against 100,000 strikers]: 1,936 federal troops, 4,000 national guardsmen, about 5,000 extra deputy marshals, 250 extra deputy sheriffs, and the 3,000 policemen in Chicago for a total of 14,186 strikebreakers. In addition to these figures there were also twelve people shot and killed, and 71 people who were arrested and sentenced on the federal indictment.

“No picnic.”



[the Haymarket massacre drawing published by ‘Harpers Weekly’ is of National Guardsmen firing into demonstrators during the 1894 Chicago Pullman strike contemporary, from Wikimedia Commons]