I was reminded of those cheddar olive balls this weekend as I prepared for a party of my own. On the afternoon of the event I found myself making another orb-shaped hors d'oeuvre, Swedish meatballs—not the big ones with the creamy sauce, but the daintier ones served simply, drizzled with pan juices, as part of a traditional Swedish smorgasbord. These can be oven baked—Clifford Wright provides a good recipe in his book Bake Until Bubbly, the most erudite collection of casserole recipes you'll ever find—or sauteed in butter, as in this recipe that ran in SAVEUR back in 1997. I usually make mine with a combination of ground beef, veal, and pork, along with minced onions, fresh bread crumbs, a beaten egg, and heavy cream. Another ingredient, seltzer, gives the meatballs a nice, delicate texture. In making meatballs, as in making pastry, cold hands are a boon; mine aren't, so I keep a bowl of ice water nearby to dip into from time to time as I form the meatballs between my palms, one by one. It's a quiet, calming pre-party exercise—a sort of meditation before the bustle and buzz of the party itself.