I am trying to plan a summer party at our family's bay house near Galveston, Texas, for the my college's deans and department chairs (my colleagues and the chairs that report to me.) I have never entertained much, so I really need some help!
My original idea has been to tell people to come anytime after 2:00pm and serve a buffet about 5:30 - 6:00. I'm inviting about 50 people; perhaps half of those will come, I presume. While the party is rather casual, I don't want the typical cookout menu or barbecue or sandwiches. I guess what I am looking for is something that will maximize an interesting menu for so many people, while allowing me to prepare most items ahead of time to minimize wear and tear on my nerves the day of the party.
Am I asking too much? Is my basic idea sound? Does anyone have alternative ideas? Can anyone come to my rescue? Or should I just call a caterer?