The ladies planned field trips and though they are a lot of fun, less intimate conversation can happen on a mini-golf course and the search for another venue continued.
"Breakfast," one of the friends suggested. "Are you free this Sunday?"
Breakfast it is and though the core group is small a guest appearance is sometimes made by different friends in common. When a local fire department hosts a pancake breakfast fundraiser, the group can grow up to 10.
Though it really isn't about the food, the ladies have their favorites and have joked about reading the menu and ordering the same thing anyway. French toast. Eggs Benedict. Scrambled with bacon. Drinks are root beer with no ice, one coffee and one hot tea with or without orange juice. Something solid and dependable in knowing what to expect.
Locations change slightly depending on the mood. One chain hot spot offers the best or at least current favorite breakfast potatoes and a local diner has superior and generous omelets.
On this morning, it was the chain and an invited guest who was traveling and the ladies had not seen each other for a few years.
New breakfast platters with stylized photos in separate laminated menus scream out to customers. The marketing works. "Stuffed french toast, oh, that looks yummy."
Fruit seduces the ladies with a wink at health conscious eating though it is blatantly smothered in whipped cream.
2 order the strawberry and banana french toast with the exact same side of scrambled egg and bacon.
Another french toast order, with scrambled egg and bacon but one fruit has changed from banana to blueberry.
Of course a selection of flavored syrups are also offered and though I didn't pay attention, I'm almost positive this crowd reached for traditional maple flavor.
The typical Eggs Benedict or Omelet morphed and customized into an omelet with Hollandaise Sauce on the side. With a teaspoon dipped into the sauce, a drizzle was created and the diner is allowed to feel in control.
I recently watched Ina Garten on the Food Network create a lovely looking Hollandaise in a blender. Though I haven't tried it myself yet, here it is:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
4 extra large egg yolks at room temperature
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 pinches cayenne pepper (honestly, I know I would leave this out)
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Place all other ingredients in blender and blend for 15 seconds. With the blender on, slowly pour the hot butter in and blend for an additional 30 seconds until sauce is thick. Can be stored at room temperature for up to one hour. If sauce is too thick, add one tablespooon hot tap water before serving.
Back to our meal... the crispy breakfast potatoes are always the correct texture and no one cares if they are hand or machine cut or how they are cooked. The point here is for them to be consistent and they are gloriously successful.
Ah, and the fruit - melons, pineapple and a grape or two.
The ladies talk of love, friendship, children, a wedding, work and school - just as any other group of women might then they pose for a picture taken by the waitress. A crowd is starting to gather waiting for tables as they leave and go their separate ways, off into the day with full bellies and warm hugs.