I'm seven years old, and the yeasty smell of baking rolls hangs heavy in the air at my great-aunts Minnie and Selma's apartment. Soon there will be fried chicken on the table, red potato salad napped with warm bacon drippings, the finest high-summer corn. And then: peach pie with a sprinkling of sugar on top, blackberry pie, and banana cream pie, too, because it's Dad's favorite. And for me—especially for me!--a white layer cake with creamy coconut frosting. This is the special meal my great-aunts always prepare during our annual visit, but this year I'm old enough to anticipate what's coming. And that makes it infinitely sweeter.
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