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The Working Girl Must Eat

(by Aimee Lee Ball)

My mother pioneered the biscotti trend, although she wouldn’t have recognized that word. To her, the crispy, dunk-able, sliced and twice-baked cookies were mandelbrot, or, as my friends liked to call their care packages, Mandelbaum. And the care packages were frequent; as one recipient said: If you were my friend, Gladys dropped a love bomb on you.

I certainly recognized what my friends saw in my mother—that she was generous and charming, devoted and loyal, funny and fierce. But she was my mother, and that presented a w