Would you like pasta with that?

So feeding a large family can be challenging. Yesterday was a busy day so I planned a shepherds pie for supper. Quick and easy and cheap. Shepherds pie for 8. Oh, hang on, my 6 year old had friends round so shepherds pie for 13. Ok, that's doable.
So I set mini-chef son to peeling potatoes and veg while I sorted mince. Doddle. Then I realised I had parsnips which needed eating so I decided to add some roasted root veg to the menu. My kitchen helper had disappeared in the direction of his X-box so I commandeered dear husband for some more peeling.
We decided to change shepherds pie to mince and mash in separate bowls to be served with assorted veg and roasties. To accommodate fussy kids. Cue face pulling from some small girls. Followed by mildly amusing sight of me on my hands and knees, head in cupboard hunting for that elusive packet of pasta I knew was in there somewhere. (Put it this way, my food cupboards are not as organised as I'd like)
So, chair hunting and table laying commenced and assorted children sorted into their places. ( "aww but I want to sit there, not there!" - why?!?! Why does it matter where you sit?!?!?)
Then we emptied the fridge of all available accompaniments. Garlic sauce and mayo with shepherds pie? Really? And then the buffet opened.
First child. Me. " do you want mash?" Them "no". Me. "Roasties?" Them. "No" . Carrots. Just a couple. Sprouts. No. Mince no. Pasta? Yes please.
Second child. Me. "Mash or roasties?" Them. "No" Pasta? " yes please". Well you get the drift.
Desert wasn't much easier. A friend had donated some Neapolitan ice cream for pud. Each child dictated their flavour preferences. It's neopolitan! You get vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. All together! That's the point of it! So one with just vanilla, one vanilla and strawberry, one strawberry and a bit of chocolate..... Argh!
So fundamentally I would have been better off just cooking plain pasta and serving vanilla ice cream. But I had appeased my "good mother" guilt by at least offering a healthy selection of veg- and from a selfish point of view it meant there were plenty of sprouts left for me!

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