Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 27, 2006 at 9:03am

Happy Birthday Etta!

My sister Etta is 22 today, celebrating not in NYC but in Buenos Aires. I’m not sure what her specific party plans are, but I know she’ll be eating very well! She’s staying for five weeks with friends of her aunt Anne, the Deane family, and they are caterers! How seriously perfect! Here are excerpts from her recent food update:

…am going to gain 10 pounds because the food is so good. They eat veal cutlets like it ain’t no thang. Hmm fried meat…who knew? I have had no bacon but did have something called ¨matahombre,¨ which directly translates to ¨kill hunger.¨ It is a strip of fat from the pig’s back that is served sort of like bacon. It came at the end of a dinner. Darn good. Will put meat on your bones! Mrs. Deane chases me with cheese puffs and something like Marge´s bars around the catering office. There is at least a lot of salad, arugula mixed with regular lettuce – a perfect balance in my mind, tomatoes, and whatever else you want. (And fresh parmesan.) Frickin´ polenta, veal ravioli, cheese ravioli with spinach and beef on the outside, tenderloin, red chilean salmon, vegetable soup, chicken. I believe thin slices of breast sauteed in oil. Breakfast is very small, tea and cereal. Tea time snacks in this house are these 2 x 4-inch rice crackers that we toast and then put on cream cheese (light) as well as sprinkle some sesame seeds over. So good. Apparently the seeds are good for digestion? After lunch I am usually offered a “lagrima” which directly translated means “tear drop” but is actually warm milk with a drop of coffee…

Oh my goodness, she goes on from there about all the fabulousness, it made me starving when I read it last night – after dinner – and starving again this morning – after breakfast. Now that is MY kind of trip, ha. And hers too. This family loves good food, thank god. I laughed out loud about the fried veal – while Etta has been eating veal in Argentina, I was doing the same in NYC and here – I say three times in one week qualifies as like it ain’t no thang! The best way of all – ah, sweet abandon. Not moderate, but that’s OK…in moderation. And I’m frying veal yet again this weekend, for John and my brother-in-law Tom… Great stomachs crave alike (!?)

Come lunchtime, I’ll most definitely be eyeing leftover eggplant crisps. And I’m pondering a small toasted sandwich comprised of thin slices of baguette, a smear of the spicy tomato sauce from last night, and a slice of fresh mozzarella. If it’s as tasty as I imagine, it may reappear this weekend as an appetizer. Stay tuned…

Well, the little sandwich, pictured, was two bites of crispy, spicy, cheesy delish. Perhaps I’ll work it into a tapas-sort of dinner for this weekend, it would fit quite nicely. Hmmm…I’ll think about that a bit. Crispy potatoes with tuna. Bits of steak with cabreles cheese. Skewers of garlicky shrimps. Roasted vegetables. A frittata. Lots of options, that could be fun. Then again, I may completely run out of steam/time and we’ll just have the little sandwiches for a quick lunch. Again, stay tuned…(oooh, all this drama!)

I made a few more little sandwiches for John for dinner, with some broccoli soup (I don’t even need to post a recipe, literally, its chopped broccoli, shallots, and garlic, cooked in some olive oil for a few minutes, then simmered until tender in chicken broth to cover, pureed in a blender with some cream, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste, good to go. Mmm…) Then Nathan and John shot some baskets outside, and now it’s time to get ready for bed. ‘Night!

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