Thanksgiving is not complete without mashed potatoes. This is more of a set of guidelines than a recipe. Give it a try, and let us know how it goes!
Get good floury potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold or what the farmer tells you.
Decide whether to peel or not to peel the potatoes. Both are good. If peeling, then simply peel the potatoes. If not peeling, wash the potatoes very well. Leave them whole and put them in a pot. Add cold water so that they are covered with an additional two inches of water. Add a couple tablespoons of salt.
Bring the pot of water with potatoes in it to a boil. Once at a boil turn down the heat to a simmer. Let the potatoes cook until they have no resistance when pierced with a paring knife. Pick one potato to be your tester. Leave the others alone.
When the potatoes are done, ladle out a couple of cups of starchy salty water for later. Drain the potatoes in a colander. For a lump free result put the cooked potatoes through a ricer or a food mill. If you like a few lumps use a potato masher or even a sturdy whisk.
Heat milk or half and half with butter. Proportions should be guided by your flavor/health risk aversion ratio.
Add heated dairy deliciousness to potatoes and mix just enough for fluffy deliciousness to happen. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Enjoy guilt free. It’s one day a year.