Mashed potatoes is a staple of Thanksgiving.  In a nice heap, covered in tasty homemade gravy, right next to the turkey and stuffing, as God intended.  However, I’ve seen so many people get mashed potatoes so horribly wrong.  Mashed potatoes are not crunchy.  They are not gritty.  They are not dry.  They are smooth, warm, flavorful, and actually very simple to make.  You just gotta do it right.  My grandma showed me how to make mashed potatoes, and my grandma made everything the best, so I’m going to share this little miracle she called her mashed potatoes.

Recipe behind the jump.

You will need:

5 or 6 medium russet potatoes

1 tbsp salt

3 tbsp butter

1 cup of milk

salt and pepper to taste

First step is to peel your potatoes.  Remove the skin entirely.  Then, cut the potatoes into decent sized chunks.  I’d say about to inch chunks.  Try to keep the sizes uniform.  Throw all of them into an accommodating pot and cover with water with an additional two or three inches of water.  Add your tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Check your potatoes now and then with a form to see if they are becoming tender.  A fork should slip right into them, and on a plate they should still hold their shape when cut in half, rather than give resistance and crumble.  Taste one too.  It should be just right.  Soft but not mealy.  When they have reached the proper consistency, drain them out in a colander.

Put your potatoes in a large bowl.  Cut the butter into three one-tablespoon pats, and throw them in with the potatoes.  Add half of your milk.  Get out your hand-held mixer and attach your beaters, but before you turn the mixer on, use the beaters to mash up the potato chunks.  Just enough that the chunks are broken down a bit.  Then turn your mixer onto the lowest setting and thoroughly whisk the potatoes until the consistency is a bit more even.  Add some milk, then beat the potatoes as a higher speed.  Add the rest of the milk, and beat them some more until they reach that scrumptious, smooth consistency.  Mix the potatoes thoroughly.  Now, taste test.  Could it use more butter?  More milk?  Some salt?  Pepper?  Adjust as needed.

When your mashed potatoes have reached your expectations, put a lid on the container.  You do not want the potatoes to dry out.  Keep them in a covered bowl until it is time to serve.  Mashed potatoes are best served smothered in home-made gravy.  Some people also mix in half a teaspoon of garlic powder for a nice twist, though I prefer my potatoes plain for Thanksgiving.