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ARC of Delaware County: Delayed 2 HrsAcademy at Rensselaer Education Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsAcademy of the Holy Names: ClosedAchievements & Kids Express Mplwood: Delayed 2 Hrs, no before careAchievements St Kateri Tekakwitha: Delayed 2 HrsAchievements and Kids Express TBGC: Delayed 2 HrsAdams-Cheshire Regional SD: ClosedAesthetic Science Institute: Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes will begin at 11 amAlbany Law School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All classes starting before 11 am are cancelled Staff report at 10:30 amAlbany Leadership Charter High: Delayed 2 HrsAlbany Pine Bush Discovery Center: Delayed 1 Hr, No AM Pre-K, Classes will still run, The Discovery Center will open at 10 am to the public. Morning classes scheduled to start at 10 will still start at 10.Albany Public Library: Delayed, No Morning Classes, All locations open at noonAmbleside School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All School Luncheon remains on scheduleAmsterdam City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastAmsterdam Head Start: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportAn Nur Islamic School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Building opens at 8:30.Andes CSD: Delayed 3 HrsArkville Head Start: ClosedArlington SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Delay 2 Hours ALL JISP CANCELLEDAugustine Classical Academy: ClosedAverill Park CSD: ClosedAverill Park Pre School: Closed, No AM Program, No Morning ClassesBArT Charter Public School: Closed, Full-year staff reportBallston Spa CSD: Delayed 2 HrsBattenkill Community Services: ClosedBennington College: Delayed Until 10a, Essential staff report as normalBennington County Head Start: ClosedBennington Early Childhood Ctr: ClosedBerkshire Christian School (Lenox): ClosedBerkshire Community College: ClosedBerkshire Country Day School: ClosedBerkshire County Head Start@Conte: Closed, No AM Head StartBerkshire Hills Regional SD: Delayed 2 HrsBerlin CSD: ClosedBerne-Knox-Westerlo CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastBethlehem CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESBishop Maginn HS: ClosedBlessed Sacrament School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No After-School Programs, No After School Events, Regular DismissalBoght Montessori: Delayed 2 HrsBrighter Choice Charter Schools: ClosedBrite Beginnings Day Care & Dev Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsBrown School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Morning PLUS ProgramBrunswick (Brittonkill) CSD: Closed, Updated statusBrunswick Center Services: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesBrunswick Children's Academy: ClosedBrunswick Community Library: ClosedBurnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, 2-hr delay (Final) HS students check email for exam scheduleBurr & Burton Academy: Delayed 2 HrsButterfly Dreams Daycare: Delayed 2 Hrs, Daycare will open at 9;30amCEO Head Start (Rensselaer County): Delayed, All CEO programs and sites delayed until 10:00amCOARC Adult Transportation: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransCairo-Durham CSD: Closed, Offices ClosedCambridge CSD: Delayed 2 HrsCap Dist Ctr for Indp (Albany): ClosedCap Dist Ctr for Indp (Schenectady): ClosedCapital Milestones Child Care: Delayed 2 HrsCapital Reg Career & Tech (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No AM BOCES, No AM classesCatholic Central HS: ClosedCatholic Schools Office: Delayed 2 Hrs, Principals Meeting at 10:30Catskill CSD: ClosedCentral Berkshire Regional SD: ClosedChatham CSD: Closed, Pops Concert Pstpnd to 1-18Chatham Kids Club: ClosedChildhood Friends Inc.: Delayed 2 Hrs, We will open at 9amChrist the King Church: Closed, No morning Daily Mass. 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Staff report., The Ulster County Office of the aging home delivered meals service and congregated sites are cancelled for today. , PROS is cancelled. 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Housatonic Academy: ClosedHudson City SD: Closed, Offices now cosed Board Meeting as scheduledHudson Day Care Center: ClosedHunter-Tannersville CSD: Closed, No AM BOCESIchabod Crane (Kinderhook) CSD: ClosedJefferson CSD: Delayed 2 HrsJohn Paolo's-Ballston Spa: ClosedJubilee Child Day Care Center: ClosedKIPP: Tech Valley Charter School: Closed, Both the primary and middleKid Kampus: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 8:30AMKiddie Academy II: Delayed 2 HrsKiddie Academy of Albany: Delayed 2 HrsKidsFirst Childcare Center: Delayed 2 HrsKinderhof Waldorf School: ClosedKinderhook Memorial Library: Delayed 2 Hrs, Library will open at noon.Kingston City SD: ClosedLa Salle Institute (Troy): ClosedLanesborough Regional SD: ClosedLansingburgh CSD: ClosedLatham Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KLee Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLenox Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLife Kids Before/ After School: Open, No AM ProgramLifeSong Inc (Saratoga): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc (Schenectady): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. 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College of Liberal Arts: Delayed Until 10aMechanicville City SD: Delayed 2 HrsMekeel Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolMenands UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastMetropolitan NTM Baptist Church: Closed, All activities cancelled.Mid-America Baptist Seminary: Delayed 2 HrsMiddleburgh CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, One Hour Early DismissalMilford CSD: Delayed 2 HrsMillbrook CSD: ClosedMohawk Trail Regional SD: ClosedMohonasen CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESMontessori School (Schenectady): Delayed, No AM Program, Early care open at 11.Morning Star Baptist Church: Closed, 6pm Bible Study is cancelledMother Teresa Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, No morning care Doors open at 9:45Mount Greylock Regional SD: ClosedMountain Road School: ClosedMrs. Puddle Duck's Childcare: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9:00 amMt Moriah Academy: ClosedMyers Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsN. Greenbush Little Red School: ClosedNassau Free Library: Delayed Until 2p, No AM Pgm, No Morning Classes, No Story TimeNew Lebanon CSD: ClosedNew Paltz CSD: ClosedNewmeadow at Clifton Park: Delayed 2 HrsNewmeadow at Fort Edward: Open, Upstate Trans delayed 2 hrsNiskayuna CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESNorth Adams Public Schools: ClosedNorth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Check website/email for SHS exam scheduleNortheast Parent & Child Society: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransNortheastern Baptist College: ClosedNorthern Berkshire Voc SD: Closed, No After Sch EventsNotre Dame-Bishop Gibbons: Delayed 2 HrsOak Hill School: Delayed 2 HrsOakwood Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsOhav Shalom Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Pre-School, No AM Program, opening at 9:30 all staff report at 9:00One Love Preschool: Delayed 2 HrsOnteora CSD: ClosedOrlo School of Hair Design: ClosedOtego-Unadilla CSD: Delayed 2 HrsOur Lady of Victory Early Childhood: ClosedOur Savior's Lutheran School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-School, No LaunchpadOur World Montessori: Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 10:45 a.m.Parsons Early Head Start Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff report by 9Parsons Early Learning Center: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff in by 9Pine Cobble School: Delayed 2 HrsPine Plains CSD: ClosedPineview Comm Church Pre-School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, opening at 9:30Pittsfield Public Schools: ClosedPoughkeepsie City School District: ClosedPumpkin Patch (Albany): Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III BOCES - Sarah's Sisters: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Catskill Academy: ClosedQuestar III Columbia-Green Ed Ctr: Closed, New Visions open house will be rescheduled to tomorrow night, Thursday, 1/18.Questar III Rensselaer Academy: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Rensselaer Edu Ctr: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, Q3 New Vision is closedQuestar III Sackett Educational Ctr: ClosedRavena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD: ClosedReadsboro Central School: Delayed 2 HrsRed Hook CSD: ClosedRedemption Christian Academy: Delayed 2 HrsRensselaer City SD: Delayed 2 HrsRensselaer Public Library: Delayed 1 HrRhinebeck CSD: ClosedRichmond Consolidated: Delayed 2 HrsRiverRun Community Montessori: ClosedRiverside Enterprises: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesRobert C. 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Action Prg.: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 10:00 AM.Schoharie Cty Child Dvp Cobleskill: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Cty HeadStart (Schoharie): Delayed 2 HrsSchool's Out, Inc.: Closed, No AM ProgramSchools Out Childrens Center LLC: Open, 6am - 2pm no transportationSchuylerville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastScotia-Glenville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShaftsbury Early Childhood Center: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationSharon Springs CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShenendehowa CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCESShooting Stars Nursery & After Sch.: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolSkidmore Early Childhood Center: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolSmall World Nursery School: ClosedSouth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSouthern Berkshire Regional SD: Closed, No Aft-Sch Pgm, No PM Activities, No After School EventsSouthern Vermont College: ClosedSouthwest Vermont SU: ClosedSpa Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-SchoolSpotted Zebra Learning Center: Delayed 2 HrsSt Ambrose School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM PgmSt Catherine's May School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastSt Clement's Regional Catholic Sch: Delayed 2 HrsSt Edward's Church: Closed, No 9am Mass No daytime eventsSt George's School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, AEP begins at 11:30 amSt Gregory School: Closed, Classes CancelledSt Jude the Apostle School: ClosedSt Kateri Tekakwitha School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, No Before Care. School doors open at 10:00 am.St Madeleine Sophie Pre-School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Madeleine Sophie School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Mary's Academy (Hoosick Falls): ClosedSt Mary's Institute ES (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No BreakfastSt Mary's School (Ballston Spa): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, Before Care Opens at 8:00amSt Mary's School (Waterford): Closed, No AM Pre-KSt Pius X School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KSt Stephen's Pre-K Acad (Delmar): Closed, No AM Pre-K, No AM Pre-K; Enrichments still on in the afternoonSt Thomas the Apostle School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KStepping Stone Pre & DCC (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 9:00Stillwater CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, FinalStory Place Preschool: ClosedStorybook Academy: ClosedSullivan BOCES: Closed, All facilities are closedSunnyside Center Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Day Care open at 9am. All staff report at 9am.Sunshine Kids Corner: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9 amSusan Odell Taylor School: Delayed 2 HrsTLC Christian Day Care: ClosedTaconic Hills CSD: ClosedTech Valley High School: Delayed 2 HrsThe Albany Academies (AA & AAG): Closed, Check web later for athleticsThe Beagle School: Delayed, No AM Program, PM Class OpenThe Children's Museum at Saratoga: Delayed 2 HrsThe Kid's Place Preschool: ClosedThe King's School: ClosedTiny Tots Early Learning Center: ClosedTown of Ballston Community Library: Delayed 2 Hrs, Library will open at 12pm; Morning programs canceledTri-Village Nursery School: ClosedTroy City SD: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Prep: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Public Library: Delayed 3 Hrs, The library will open at 12:00 pm today. Twin County Recovery Services, Inc.: Closed, No groups or appointmentsTwin Valley Elementary School: Delayed 2 HrsTwin Valley Middle High School: Delayed 2 HrsUlster County Community College: Delayed 2 Hrs, Employee code orangeUlster-Greene ARC (Catskill): Open, No Transportation, transportation cancelledUlster-Greene ARC (Kingston): Open, No Transportation, All Classes Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Cancelled Training Center Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Canceled., Rosendale Training Center classes Cancelled. , , Unity Sunshine Program: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, Day Care Open, Special Ed delayed 2 hours. UPK delayed 2 hours. at A Child's PlaceUpstate Transit: Delayed 2 Hrs, School DivisionVillage Of Colonie Senior Center: ClosedVillage School of North Bennington: ClosedVoorheesville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES No BreakfastWWAARC—Albany & Queensbury: Open, Albany Location on Snow Routes; Queensbury Location normal routineWaldorf School (Saratoga Springs): Delayed 2 Hrs, 2 Day PreK begins at 10:30Warren Street Academy - The Bridge: ClosedWarrensburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No AM Head Start, No BrkfstWashington County EOC: Open, Cambridge HeadStart delayed 2 hours, No AM transportWaterford-Halfmoon UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastWatervliet City SD: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines (Cobleskill): Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines - Schoharie UPK: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines Pre Sc (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No morning Toddler Program No morning wrap aroundWhispering Pines Pre-sch (Delanson): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No Toddler ProgramWildwood Adult Day Services: ClosedWilliamstown Public Schools: ClosedWilton Baptist Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KWindham-Ashland-Jewett CSD: ClosedWonderland Nursery School: ClosedWoodland Hill Montessori School: ClosedWorcester CSD: ClosedWynantskill UFSD: ClosedYMCA (Bethlehem): Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA (East Greenbush): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, Child watch Opens at 9am, Snow Day Program opens at 8amYMCA (Greater Glenville): Open, No programs until noon. No AM Childwatch.YMCA (Guilderland): Open, No AM Pre-School, No Morning Classes, No AM branch childwatchYMCA (Schenectady): Open, No Morning Classes, Child Watch Closed for AM Classes Cancelled til NoonYMCA (Troy): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, No Child WatchYMCA Duanesburg: Open, No Morning Classes, No morning child watchYMCA Greene County Branch: Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA Southern Saratoga: Open, No Morning Classes

Perreca’s to celebrate centennial with block party

Perreca’s to celebrate centennial with block party

In 100 years, not much has changed in the bakery proper at Perreca's Bakery.
Perreca’s to celebrate centennial with block party
Tony Papa stokes the large oven at Perreca's Bakery in Schenectady on Friday.

Celebrate Perreca’s 100th Anniversary

WHAT: A block party featuring live music by The Refrigerators, food and dancing

WHEN: Saturday, 5-9 p.m.

WHERE: 31 N. Jay St. and Warren St., Schenectady

On a Friday morning, the coal-fired brick oven rests. It still radiates heat — it can never truly rest — but this is its downtime after a night spent baking loaves of bread.

Round and long loaves. Golden loaves and dark brown loaves. The darkest loaves come from nearest the oven walls. All come with a thick crust.

In the bakery proper at Perreca’s Bakery, the oven is a small rectangular slit in a white brick wall that’s caked in a century’s worth of soot. Maria Perreca Papa opens the iron door, grabs a tin lamp that’s hanging nearby and shines it in, revealing a deep, dark chamber of black, black, black that stretches 18 feet back.

It’s still warm from the night’s work. In fact, it never gets cold. If it does, like one time nearly 30 years ago, the bricks will crack and Maria’s brother Tony will have to crawl in the slit on his back and replace them. Even when it’s cold, it’s pretty warm.

“He was a young, fearless guy, back in his early 20s,” Maria recalled.

So it never gets cold. It’s hottest in the middle of the night, when the rest of the neighborhood is asleep and a team of bakers shove long wooden peels loaded with flour-dusted dough into the slit so loyal customers can have a fresh loaf in the morning. They can’t keep track of the loaves, so they count each 50-pound bag of flour as they go. Friday night, the night before Perreca’s hosts a 100th anniversary bash on North Jay Street, they will go through 600 pounds of flour.

In 100 years, not much has changed in the bakery proper. The oven is still there, still running on coal. The mixer Salvatore Perreca bought used in 1921 is still there. The sheeter, bought in 1921, is still there. The wood floor, covered in layers of chalky gray and white soot, is still there.

A large trough, designed to hold rising loaves and logs, was replaced. A long bench was replaced. Proofing boxes lined with canvas rags were replaced. The peels are made of wood and so they inevitably were replaced.

The things that really matter to Perreca’s Bakery customers have not changed, though. The bread is the same as it was a century ago, laboriously but lovingly handcrafted by the Perreca family using an unscientific mixture of flour, water, salt and yeast.

“This is it,” Maria said, shrugging her shoulders and lifting outspread arms toward the bakery that’s stood in the same spot on North Jay Street, the mainstay of the city’s Little Italy neighborhood, since 1914. “For 100 years, I mean, this has been it.”

Curiously, the sign on the door boasts “Perreca’s Bakery since 1913” in cursive script. And it’s true. Perreca’s Bakery has been around since 1913.

Salvatore Perreca and his brothers arrived in Schenectady from Naples and decided to open their own individual bakeries selling Napolitan bread around the city. The brothers — Felice and Vincent — opened bakeries on John Street in 1913. Salvatore and his wife, Carmella, opened their own bakery at 33 N. Jay St. a year later. Their bed once occupied a tiny pantry on the first floor.

“Especially back then, you didn’t hire people to work in your bakery,” Maria said. “It was all family. And if you didn’t have family that was willing to work all night, well that’s kind of tough.”

It’s unclear just when the other Perreca’s bakeries closed, but Maria has her own theory as to why her grandparents’ bakery was the one to survive and thrive.

“I give all the credit to my mother, believe it or not,” she said.

Lilia Perreca dropped out of school to help her parents run the bakery. She married a bakery regular and a mason by trade, Dominick Papa, who left his masonry job to help her run the business after Salvatore had grown old and tired. They had two children: Maria and Tony, who today co-own the still-thriving Schenectady landmark.

And at 89, Lilia is still involved in the bakery.

“She still works here,” Maria said, her voice a mixture of pride, shock and an ever-present joviality. “She’s remained the constant since she could walk. She was born upstairs and never left. She still comes to work every day, even on Saturdays.”

The family never really thought twice about the “since 1913” claim on the front door.

“I’ve always been like, ‘Oh, who cares, you know? What does it matter?’ But now that we’re at our centennial, it does,” she says. “It does matter. It’s nice to know.”

As other family-run bakeries have gone out of business, the Perreca Papa family has been careful to build its reputation on more than just a renowned loaf of bread. In fact, the family hasn’t always understood the fuss, which went into overdrive after Schenectady learned Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep had fallen for the bread while filming “Ironwood” in Albany in 1987.

It’s why people have stopped Maria during stays in Hawaii and Holland, always while she’s wearing a Perreca’s shirt, to tell her they’ve heard of her bakery.

Robert Papa, Dominick’s brother and Maria’s uncle, once described the bread as “plain old peasant bread.” That is, perhaps, its appeal. It’s a tasty relic of a simpler time: dinner at Grandma’s house.

Today, Perreca’s is more than just bread and tomato pie (the tomato pie gets less attention, but is arguably just as beloved). Today, it’s paninis, cupcakes, cookies and deli meats, as well.

“We make other things because we had no choice,” Maria said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, this is so much fun, let’s make cupcakes now.’ We really had no choice. People don’t eat bread around the dining room table every night as a family, you know? They don’t meet around the dining room table every night as a family, let alone have a big old loaf of Perreca’s bread in the middle. It just doesn’t happen. It’s changing times.”

That’s why their most memorable customers are the older ones.

“They’re the old-timers,” she said. “We see the same people make a dedicated stop on their errand routes every day, just for a loaf of bread. Now that’s dedication.”

To show the world (or at least Schenectady) the family is about more than just bread, Maria opened a restaurant five years ago in a vacant, 4,400-square-foot building next door, calling it, fittingly, More Perreca’s. The food is simple and delicious, like the kind you’d find in any old Italian grandmother’s kitchen, she says.

The little trattoria is not for foodies in search of the next trendy restaurant. It’s most popular among neighborhood folks who like the comfort of a home-cooked meal.

“What we wanted was a place where people could go experience grandma food,” Maria said. “We’re not Cornell’s. We were never meant to compete with Cornell’s or with white tablecloth restaurants because we’re not that. We’re the Perreca’s Bakery of restaurants. We’re not a fancy bakery, and we’re not a fancy restaurant. But we’re really, really, really good food.”

On Friday morning, a customer points toward the shelves of bread in the bakery’s front window.

“That one,” she said, her eyes honing in on a single loaf. “The dark one.”

The dark ones, with the brown — almost black — crusts, are baked near the walls of the oven. They’re a customer favorite.

The bakery’s original wood floors creak beneath her feet. That sound is also a customer favorite, Maria says.

On the wall behind the counter, frames hold newspaper cutouts and black-and-white portraits of Dominick, Lilia, Carmella and Salvatore donning his newsboy cap. The door opens, and a gust of air does little to dilute the perfume of yeasty dough and spicy sausages and pepperonis.

Maria becomes overwhelmed with gratitude when she thinks of the 100-year landmark. She’s going all out to celebrate. She had signs made a few months ago noting the centennial achievement. They hang on lampposts outside the bakery. She emailed The Refrigerators, a popular band in the Northeast that draws thousands to its shows. Band members told her they would be honored to play at Perreca’s 100th anniversary block party, which runs today from 5 to 9 p.m. on nearby Warren Street.

“I think of the bones that are here and the ghosts,” she said. “I think of all the hard work that my ancestors did, and I just well up with gratitude. I mean, it sounds hokey, but gratitude is everything. Gratitude is success.”

On a recent Easter, Tony’s son, Anthony Perreca Papa, helped his aunt make hundreds of pies stuffed with ham, ricotta and rice. The recent high school graduate has been a prep cook at More Perreca’s for some time, making sauces and stocks and meatballs. The pies aren’t his specialty, but they’re popular, so they need to fly into the oven and fly out to be fresh and ready for the customers who line up each Easter.

“Anthony and I are at ground zero,” Maria recalls. “We’re putting pies in, we’re taking them out, we’re putting them in, and I’m so tired, my arms are barely working anymore, and we’re both just slaving at this oven. And I said, ‘Anthony, I cannot wait to pass this baton along.’ And he said, ‘Aunt Mimi, I’m ready.’ ”

She was so happy she could cry.

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