Food Memory: Spicy Brunch with J

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J, funnily enough, was my boss for a summer, but she also went to grad school near mine and when I went to visit her, our most treasured tradition was a visit to a wonderful brunch restaurant. I’d eat my sour-cream-topped latkes and my poached eggs on black-bean-cakes and feel the spice burning my tongue while we washed down our many chats with milky coffee. She made me feel a part of her world at a time when I was in between close connections, and ever since I’ve associated sweetness and wisdom with any food we’ve shared.