In 2015, I had a true “aha!” moment. I realized after years of working as a professional recipe developer and tester, I wasn’t sure I could faithfully reproduce my mom’s meatballs. My mother, an Italian immigrant from Calabria, makes the best meatballs I have ever eaten. But she is not one to follow a recipe, or even write things down—each time she makes the dish, she adds ingredients and repeatedly tastes until she knows it’s just right.

In my household, my mother's meatballs never go to waste; my family treasures her cooking, until they gobble it up. I began to think of my mother’s recipes as important family heirlooms that I could pass down to my children, who may someday pass them on to their children. I knew I needed to dedicate time to recording all the family favorites my mother has made all my life.

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