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The Bank’s Hot Garlic Egg

Bridgette Kelly

On a weekend morning in the Bank household, the sizzle of eggs frying on a pan, the steady ticking of a toaster and the sharp cracks of a knife hitting the cutting board fill the kitchen. This culinary symphony is part of Leila Bank’s and her father, Andrew Bank’s, weekend breakfast tradition.

“The dish is what my dad likes to call a hot garlic egg,” Bank said. “It’s basically avocado toast topped with a fried egg with garlic and salt and all the fun stuff. My dad likes to add hot sauce which I’m not a fan of, but you can add whatever you want to it.”

Whenever Bank and her dad are free on a weekend morning, they both end up in the kitchen together. One will say to the other “Should we make this right now?” and the other will usually reply with “Yes, we should.”

Bank’s father introduced her to the recipe years ago and after countless weekends of cracking eggs and drizzling olive oil, Bank now believes she is even better than her dad at making the “hot garlic egg.”

“I’ve perfected my craft if you will,” Bank said. “It depends, but I usually like the yolk a little bit runny on my egg and you have to figure out how to make that happen. You have to have the timing right for when to put the bread in the toaster and you have to make sure you have good avocados. It’s a hustle. It’s a hustle.”

Finding time together can be tough for Bank and her dad. After a busy day at school, she needs time alone, while her dad, who works from home, wants to be around family. Because of this, meal times, like the “hot garlic egg,” often become the time when Bank and her dad can be with each other. This is why “hot garlic egg” is so special to her — it reminds her of moments she has shared with her dad over the years, no matter how fleeting they might have been.

“Breakfast and the fried eggs are something that brings us together as silly as it sounds,” Bank said.

Bank’s dad can’t recall how he started making the dish, but Leila remembers the moment she got hooked.

“I was really hungry one day and he was making it for himself, and I took a bite of it and went ‘Wow, this is maybe the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life’,” Bank said. “Then he made me one, and the rest is history.”

What Bank finds special about the dish is that it’s only good while it’s fresh and hot. Indulging in such a fresh meal, ripe with feelings of nostalgia and love, makes the meal extra personal to Bank.
“It’s a fried egg on avocado toast, so it’s not something you can save,” Bank said. “Something about the fact that it’s non-savable and you have to cherish it while it lasts is something I think is beautiful.”

On top of it being difficult to find time together, fighting can be frequent between Bank and her dad.

“I’m the middle daughter and he’s the dad, so fighting just happens like that,” Bank said.

Despite this, Bank and her dad still share a love for many of the same things, and Bank says it’s nice when they can find common ground.

“We both really love music, and I’d say we’re both pretty philosophical,” Bank said. “So whenever he finds something that I would be interested in, he lets me know, and we have some deep conversations sometimes.”

Making “hot garlic egg” is a team effort; Bank is often the one toasting the bread, mashing the avocados, and seasoning them with salt and olive oil, while her dad is the one frying the eggs.

“My dad does the egg because he thinks he’s really good at it,” Bank said. “I’m better at it but he doesn’t need to know that.”

This 20-minute weekend breakfast routine is generally a quiet affair, but Bank knows how meaningful the moment is for each other.

“It’s sort of comfortable silence,” Bank said. “I think that’s really important to me because talking is nice, but being able to be silent with someone and have it not be awkward is also really beautiful.”

Bank savors every moment she gets with her dad, but sometimes thinks of how the future will affect their relationship.

“When I do have moments with my dad, it’s almost like the happiness that we share makes me sad in an opposite way because I know it won’t last forever,” Bank said. “I’m going to college next year, and we won’t always live in the same house, and we’ll grow apart in the way that parents do from their kids, so when we are sharing breakfast, I try to enjoy it, but it’s also hard to quell the thoughts of the future.”

Such a simple dish holds many of Bank’s most cherished memories between her and her dad. Bank knows she will be making this dish for years to come, not only because of how delicious it is but because of the sentiment it holds.

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