Labor Day in Bucks County – 2017

Watermelon from Blooming Glen Farm; photo credit Lynne Goldman

Expect great things this Labor Day weekend, especially if you live in or near Bucks County! If you’re looking for things to do and eat, keep reading for local events, activities, and end-of-summer recipes. Enjoy!

Put that late-summer produce to work!

This season brings all of the fruits and vegetables that remind us of what it was like to be a kid, eating our way through the final days of summer. Juicy watermelon that dribbles down your arm, sweet corn that tastes even sweeter with a coat of butter — there’s nothing like it.

There are many benefits to shopping local at your area farmers markets. You get to enjoy the seasons, savor the fresh and real flavors of nature’s bounty, and you’re supporting family farmers, which gives them better return for their produce.

This month and most likely into September, you’ll find watermelon, corn, some apples (at select markets), peppers, celery, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, and of course, herbs, flowers, and plenty of treats to pair with your basket of goodies.

Eggplants from Blooming Glen Farm; photo credit L. Goldman

But the real challenge is, what are you going to do with what you buy? Here are our suggestions:

  • Watermelon pico de gallo: Fruit salsas pair well with chicken, as well as shrimp, fish, or scallops. Or, just dig into this pico de gallo with a bag of salty chips. Here’s a tip from Darryl Mosher, a farmer and professor at the Culinary Institute of America: Store your watermelon in the sun. The flavor of a warm watermelon is more complex, and tastes tropical and mango-like.
  • Mexican-style grilled corn: This summertime corn favorite could run you $4-5 a piece at a fancy Mexican restaurant, but with a bag full of fresh farmers market sweet corn, you can serve up this Mexican-street-cart classic — for cheap! If you can find queso fresco or Cotija cheese, you’re good to go. Or, just use Pecorino Romano.Regan from Cooking with Cabot
  • No-bake recipes: Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with the oven. Extra dishes, makes the whole kitchen hot, who needs that when you’re trying to chill and grill this weekend? You can even skip the grilling with these recipes, courtesy of Cooking with Cabot. Learn how to make black bean salad or power salad with yogurt dill dressing, or try a smoothie bowl topped with fresh fruit from the farmers market! If you have cheese or dairy products on hand, give these recipes a go, or stop by one of the many cheese and dairy farms in and around Bucks County.Zucchini and corn succatash by Max Hansen
  • Corn, zucchini and poblano succotash: Growing up, my favorite vegetable medley contained tons of corn and tons of peppers. A quick sauté and you had a simple yet satisfying side dish. This is a modern take on a childhood favorite, and you’ll need some fresh bi-color corn, zucchini and poblano peppers. Pretty and flavorful!

Things to do, things to eat

Some families like to heat up the grill and cook all the end-of-summer favorites, like burgers, hot dogs, steaks and chicken. Others prefer to dine out, relaxing by the canal with a crisp glass of wine and some tapas to share.

Photo credit: black bass hotel

Whatever your family is into, there is something for everyone in and around Bucks County. Take the squad out to the riverside restaurants known for their beautiful views and creative dishes, or travel to a winery along the wine trail of Bucks County, or keep reading for other Labor Day activities:

  • Wine and dine: The tasting room of Unami Ridge Winery is owned and operated by Jim Jenks, an Army veteran, and his wife Kathy. It started as a hobby for Jim, but now his winery is quite popular, and open for a perfect weekend trip.
    Dinner Opening celebration at Karlton Cafe
  • And if you’re in Quakertown, stop by the Karlton Cafe, which is hosting its dinner opening celebration on Friday, September 1 and Saturday, September 2 from 5 – 9 pm. Receive a complimentary glass of wine with your dinner. Reservations, call 215.538.8353. The Karlton Cafe uses fresh produce and ingredients available through all seasons and is located on 310 W. Broad St. in Quakertown.
  • Feeling cheese-y? Bucks County is home to great dairy farms producing the best cheeses. You’ll find dairy farms outside of county lines in New Jersey, too. Pick up some soft and hard cheeses, and set up a nice cheese board for your guests this Labor Day weekend. Don’t forget some nuts and fruit (and wine!) for additional pairings.
  • BYOD – Bring Your Own Dog: Last summer, we rounded up a bunch of dog friendly restaurants in Bucks County and nearby. What better way to celebrate the last days of August than with your furry friend and maybe a beer or two? Check out this list here and let us know if we’ve missed your dog’s favorite restaurant or brewery!

Cue the BBQ

The smoky aroma from a fired-up grill is summertime’s perfume. And if you don’t have a grill, or just don’t feel like cooking, you can stop by the many BBQ spots around Bucks County:

BBQ from Hickory Kitchen

  • Oink Johnson’s Southern BBQ: Don’t drive too fast or you will miss some of the best BBQ in Bucks. Sitting in a small parking lot on Route 611 in Pipersville, you’ll find Jack Belli and Oink Johnson’s barbecue. Great meat and terrific sides too. See our post here.
  • Hickory Kitchen: BBQ the way you want it, along with mouth-watering sides — Hickory Kitchen’s got it all. And for Labor Day, they’re offering a la carte menu items for your Labor Day party.
  • Marty’s Smoke Shack: Located in New Hope. Stop by for BBQ fan favorites: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, pastrami, Texas pit beef, smoked chicken wings and pulled chicken. All the meats are smoked in-house, in the kitchen.
  • More Than Q: Pitmaster Matt Martin started his bbq at the Stockton Market in 2014 and now has locations in Lambertville and Easton, a serving up delicious, smoked meats along with seasonal, southern sides.
  • For more barbecue options, see our post here.

Events and other foodie ‘bytes’

You’ll find a full list of food events happening this week and this weekend, but here are a few highlights you may want to check:

Polish American Festival

  • 52nd Annual Polish American Festival: The festival is at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown. It starts at 11 am – 7 pm on September 1 and ends September 4. Enjoy delicious Polish and American food, beer, entertainment, dancing, and more.
  • Labor Day BBQ at the Lumberville General Store. Bring your empty stomachs because it’s quite the spread: burgers, grilled salmon, stuffed Portobello mushrooms, chicken, and sides!
  • Annual Labor Day Picnic at the Rising Sun Inn: $2 beer specials. An annual Quoits tournament. From noon till 8 pm at the Rising Sun Inn, you’ll find this and other fun activities on Sunday, September 3.
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