My mom's spaghetti sauce with meatballs and Italian sausage, pasta, salad.
My brother-in-law is visiting so we had a little dinner party with the family tonight. It was fun! And a big pot of spaghetti sauce with meat serves a big crowd with relatively little effort. I've served this same dinner at dinner parties (the real kind, not the family kind) several times and it's always a big hit.
One time in college we had a spaghetti cook-off at my friends' apartment. We invited a bunch of people and four or five of us made sauce. That night I made our family's sauce for the first time on my own. My sauce didn't win, which was okay with me. It was such a fun evening that I remember it clearly, even so many years later. (Many many years later, a disgusting amount of time, really.) One of the foreign students told me later that it was the first time she'd had a chance to see what Americans do when they entertain and socialize for real, instead of just binge-drinking in a dance club. (That was our standard for weekend activities in Boston in the late '80s.)
I wonder if anyone else remembers that evening as vividly as I do (or at all), or if it was important only to me.