Girls day out vs. Ladies luncheon

Today’s recipe is: Sweet corn chilli flan
A photo of a Sweet corn chili flan.

A friend recently told me that she went to a Ladies Luncheon (as opposed to a Girls Day Out). I have never actually been invited to a Ladies Luncheon. There could be several reasons for this, but I think it’s possibly because I’m not a lady. And it’s not that I haven’t tried. I put on high heels, nice dresses buttoned most of the way to the top and sip demurely on a cold glass of white wine. That’s the first 10 minutes. Then I’m knocking back whatever drinks are passing my way, my dress is unbuttoned most of the way to the bottom and I’m telling rude jokes. This will not do at a Ladies Luncheon, but a Girls Day Out is something different. Yes, we too have lunch in a feeding frenzy type of a way, but there are many differences so I will give a short list of the major ones.

Ladies Luncheon
1. Demurely sip wine
2. Talk about other people
3. Dress respectably
4. Discuss one’s husband’s shortcomings
5. Restaurant is chosen for its good food

Girls Day Out
1. Lug back jugs of alcohol (any form will do)
2. Gossip mercilessly about all others not present
3. Dress to kill
4. Discuss all men in the vicinity completely forgetting that one is married
5. Restaurant is chosen for its proximity to good shops

It’s not even that I am not of the correct age that I don’t get invited to Ladies Lunches. Being over 30 (gulp, make that 40 and pass me a drink!), I am after all a mature woman, a fact that has recently been brought home to me. In January I was in America and during that time we ran out of milk so I had to run to the store at 7am. The 12-or-something-year-old behind the counter, took my hand, slowly counted out my change and said “Here you go dear”. Granted, I don’t look my best at that time of the morning, but surely I don’t look that bad…..

That same afternoon I was in Wal-Mart and met a friend in the checkout line. We got onto the joys of getting old, like the boobs going south (and not just for the winter), the fat rolls that can no longer be hidden, you know, the usual stuff. Well, she was checked out and gone and the next 12 year old cashier (twin sister of the other one) looks me up and down, and says, “Thanks a lot, now I know what I have to look forward to”. I was speechless and slunk away (which was probably the thing that saved her life).

So in light of current events, maybe it’s not so bad that I haven’t been invited to a Ladies Luncheon. I think I’ll just stick with being an old girl rather than a retiring lady.
Here’s a dish that you could serve at either event.

1 tbsp oil (if using tomatoes in oil, you can use this oil)
1 onion, finely chopped
100g ham, cubed
50g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (or a pinch of chili or pepper flakes)
200g tinned sweet corn
50g grated cheese, possibly cheddar or Swiss Emmental
4 tbsp crème fraiche or sour cream
150ml milk
4 eggs
Salt, pepper and a dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease 8 ramekins, approximately 150ml each, and place in a large ovenproof dish.

2. Sauté the onion and chilli in the oil for about 5minutes or until softened, and then add the ham, tomatoes and corn and heat through. Divide the mix amongst the ramekins and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.

3. Mix the crème fraiche or cream, milk and eggs, season with the salt, pepper and Tabasco, and pour over the items in the ramekins. Pour hot water into the ovenproof dish to come to about halfway up the ramekins.

4. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until set. When you give the ramekin a little shake, it should be quite firm. It does firm up once you’ve taken it out, so don’t worry if it’s a little wobbly. Serve and enjoy!!

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