A couple of times a year we host a group of musicians for performances. After the performance, I serve a light supper. This one will be in early September so it is still quite warm here in Arizona. One of my "work-arounds" is an open floorplan. For the most part, having the piano very close to the open kitchen makes my cooking especially pleasant with lots of music. However, for these Sunday suppers, it means that I cannot do kitchen work during the performance.
To date I have served: a soup supper with about five choices, a salad buffet, a grits bar with different toppings and I don't remember what else. All were well-received, this is a very appreciative non-picky group. I am toying with a Taco Bar but something is preventing me from becoming enthused about this idea (and I don't know what it is).
I have a large kitchen and use it for serving this informal buffet meal. There is a big island as well as 15' long peninsula and we have plenty of seating. It is the menu which has me struggling. The food must either be plated and cold or be able to be held at temperature for about 1 1/2 hours. Supper commences directly after the last musical selection; at most, I have about 10 minutes to get set up. Of course there are the offers to help, refrigerator door homesteaders, etc to complicate matters but I ply them with beer/wine/etc so I can get cracking with what needs to happen.
I need inspiration from the Chowhound community because I am weary of summer's heat and feel like I have a bad case of "the blahs". Thanks in advance, you've never let me down yet.
Edit: Just remembered that I have also done a French picnic, BBQed pork spread and Mediterranean meal for this group. I would rather not repeat any dishes that have already appeared. Anything fussy or requiring a lot of last minute attention or assembly is out.
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