The Labour Day long weekend marks the end of long and lazy barbecues with punchy summer fruit desserts. It’s your last proper chance for sunburn, bug bites, and that feeling when the condensation from your refreshingly cold drink drips down on your bare feet. In short, backyard barbecues on Labour Day are perfect. Having the last chance to enjoy the summer, it’d be a shame to forget buying a dessert. Here’s for barbecue desserts.
Being a little dessert obsessed, we’ve done the leg work to help you with your summer barbecue dessert inspiration. But before we get into that, what is Labour Day and why does Canada share it with the US? It’s linked to the Canadian labour strike parade in the spring of 1872 when two-time PM John A. Macdonald agreed to repeal anti-union laws. What followed was an annual celebration right up until 1984, when a similar thing unfolded in the US. The Canadian PM at this time, John Thompson, was just across the border. He decided to shift the holiday to match the end of summer when the neighbours were celebrating.
Foodwise, it was tricky to find exactly what these Canadians were eating to celebrate. However, we did come across one Labour Day barbecue idea of doughnuts that came from a 1954 newspaper article in the Edmonton Journal. As it falls at the end of the summer, it’s easy for us to imagine our lives now with last minute hiking picnics and trips to the beach or lake, all punctuated by barbecues. If you’re camping, we don’t have to mention s’mores – you probably have the crackers in your backpacks already!
But s’mores better not be your only barbecue dessert when there are so many summer fruits on hand. One fruit in particular is the peach, which grows quite well in Ontario and is in season right now. The Labour Day holiday is a great time to enjoy summer delights like peach cobbler or crisp cooked outside. Perhaps even a peach and plum galette or elegant peach parfait! On the topic of frozen desserts like sorbets, there’s peach sorbet with blackberries, but shifting fruit gears we’ve seen many suggestions for strawberry gelato made from the bounty of berries made available earlier in the summer.
If you’ve had your fill of peaches and strawberries, there’s always sour cherry pie or a baked plum pudding. For some other patriotic fruits that are locally grown, you might choose to enjoy some British Columbian blueberries which will be in season for another month, or Saskatoon berries, whose season has just come to an end. We have countless barbecue dessert options for these berries, the most popular being blueberry or Saskatoon berry (or a combination of both) crisp, crumble, pie, or galette.
With so many decent fruits on hand this time of year, you can’t go wrong. But perhaps you’re set for fruit dessert ideas, in which case our O Canada Dessert Road Trip post from July suggests a number of regional desserts suitable to compliment any outdoor gathering this summer. Think Nanaimo bars or the bright orange and black tiger tail flavoured ice cream!
We hope one or two of these barbecue desserts suggestions hit the spot for you. Be safe and enjoy the Labour Day long weekend holiday, everyone.