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  • Gary DiDona's mother was Irish, but she mostly cooked Italian dishes. Maybe it helped that his Dad's Italian mother lived right next door and was over every weekend for family dinners. Mom always made her special tomato sauce for those get-togethers, but she never wrote the recipe down, preferring the completely intuitive approach.

    "It was all sort of by touch, she just sort of knew how much to add of each ingredient. She never showed me how to cook it, but I had to just watch her...I've tried my whole adult life to replicate my mother's tomato sauce, but I think I've gotten close. And I eventually figured out her secret ingredient."

    For Gary's Mom, cooking was the primary way she cared for the family, and that extended to all hours of the day and night.

    "My brother and I both lived home until our 20's. We could be out with friends, we could be out with you guys, the About Men Radio guys - I could come home literally at one in the morning, and my Mom was always up. The first thing was always 'Want something to eat?' 90 per cent of the time it's, 'No Ma, I'll just go to bed.' But sometimes, you know, I was kinda hungry. She'd always throw out a full plate. Not even, 'Here's what I got', it was 'What do you want?', and she'd make it! You could rely on it, she was there."

    Gary DiDona is a co-host of the About Men Radio show, and he worked in medical research technology, then in the corporate world, and now he's a social worker and staff trainer. This story was produced for "Coming to the Table" from Feet In Two Worlds.
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