Look, anyone could forget about Labor Day. Right? This is what you tell yourself, rocketing homeward from the empty workplace it took you many long minutes to recognize is closed today and why—Oh god, is everybody coming over for a cookout? Did I tell them I'd host Labor Day? Oh god did I promise meat.

Who knows. Who can know? No one can know. But just in case you are on the hook for the victuals, today, here's the stuff to shop for, frantically, on your way back home, so that you can throw together a perfectly credible last-minute Labor Day feast. Hurry!

What To Grill

Vegetables: Get something healthy and colorful in front of faces before you move on to the greasy meat everyone's waiting for.


Cheeseburgers: You can get the patties ready in the time it takes the fire to get hot in your grill, and you'll have 'em back off the grill and ready to eat in five minutes.

Skirt steak: The easiest way to get steak into multiple people. Six minutes of cooking, sandwiched by five minutes of prep work.


Chicken thighs: Drop these on the cooling coals, slap a lid on there, and walk away for a long time. They'll wait.


What Not To Grill

Macaroni salad: Ten minutes or so to boil the macaroni, plus 30 seconds to toss it with the vegetation you chopped while it was boiling.


Deviled eggs: You don't even need to buy fresh eggs. These are better with older eggs! Nice, right?

Caesar salad: It's just romaine lettuce and a punchy, spicy dressing that you whip up in the friggin' food processor.


What To Drink

Cheap American beer: Damn straight.


Happy Labor Day.