Hosting a party means pouring through cookbooks, magazines, cooking websites, even old family recipes.

When my recent co-hosting duties for a couple’s engagement shower had a Louisiana theme, it was an excuse to peruse through all sorts of recipes and memories.

There was a sauce that went with a favorite chicken recipe passed down from my mother. While Alzheimer’s robbed her memory of the recipe, it didn’t take away her recollection of its taste.

Looking at the recipe recently brought back the remembrance of the recognition on her face when I made it for her one day.

Then I came across a favorite meatball recipe for appetizers. It was one I made when my daughter had her first open house party. For fun, I combined the two recipes and their memories into a new appetizer, using the sauce and the meatballs.

The meatball bar concept provides for an easy serving tip. Use margarita glasses or fancy stemware and place them around other party offerings for a nice display.

It is hoped the honored couple will build their own memories and one day find them in dog-eared cookbooks and faded recipe cards as I did.

That’s part of the beauty of food, family and friends. Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at