Thursday, August 2, 2007

August 1, the Swiss National holiday


August 1 is to the Swiss what July 4th is to America. We always love this day of commemorating Switzerland and are especially thrilled when a visit from friends coincides with it. Yesterday was just one of these days and we did the traditional cervalat, veal sausage and regular sausage on the grill. Swiss cervalat are more like a non garlic garlic link and have the consistency of a hot dog. Other friends brought some along for the Swiss Pork Shop in northern NJ and they grilled up beautifully.
The Swiss love salads and are incredibly creative with them. Our family favorites include a red beet salad with onions and a roasted corn salad with pimento and a ranch type dressing. Add a red skin potato salad with red pablano peppers, vidalia onions, some mustard and the secret ingredient, beef broth, and we were set!
Part of the traition includes hanging 'Lampions" lanterns with candles inside, Swiss flags and banners from the various cantons as well as bon fires. Tradition says that these bon fires were used to communicate between the villages when there were emergencies.