In January, I received an unexpected gift in the mail from my beloved aunt and godmother: a wine book, full of labels and notes, that she had kept during the1970s when she and my uncle were living in Germany. To make your own, you don't need anything more glamorous or expensive than an unused diary.
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Kim Severson of the New York Times visited her grandmother's hometown in Italy to discover the secret of her family's spaghetti sauce, only to find the secret wasn't in Italy at all: "In fact, only two things in the village reminded me of anything I grew up with. The fat pork sausages were cooked and served the same way, and my Italian cousins looked just like my brothers. To understand why I made my sauce the way I did, I needed to start closer to home, with my mother. She has been making spaghetti sauce for almost 60 years, from a recipe she learned from her mother, who had been making it with American ingredients since the early 1900s." Severson...