Despite being raised by home cooks who cooked everything from scratch, when my co-maker and I were first married, we tended to default to the boxed mixes for mashed potatoes. We were young, in a hurry, and had other things we preferred to spend our time doing. When the mini-makers came along, we went all "healthy eating" on ourselves, put time was still of the essence, so we used a hand mixer to blend up our boiled potatoes.
When the mini-makers started cooking with us in the kitchen though, we slowed down, because there are few things as lovely as cooking together with friends and family. And somewhere along the line, the hand mixer gave way to hand masher, and we never went back.
There's something about hand mashing potatoes - maybe the fact that they're not whipped into an atomized froth, perhaps - that makes them taste wonderful, with a lovely and nuanced texture. And using the hand masher means this is a dish you can make on a camping trip as well as at home.
We don't eat mashed potatoes a lot these days, but when we made our Maker's Pie recently, we were reminded of how truly Nom Nom are hand mashed potatoes.
Step 1: Ingredients
3-4 big Idaho potatoes - peeled and cubed
1/2 milk - purist will cringe, but soy or almond milk works fine for the dairy sensitive
1/3 cup butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: fresh parsley
And one potato masher - metal or plastic is fine. (metal cleans easier)
Step 2: Boil Potatoes
In enough water to cover your potatoes, boil over medium high heat until fork tender or softer. (Your call - we like a few lumps in ours, so we don't let our potatoes go too mushy)
Step 3: Drain - But Not Completely
Drain most of the water from your pot of potatoes, but not all. I usually leave a good 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of water in the pot.
Step 4: Add Butter and Milk
Add all your butter, and about half your milk to start.
Step 5: Mash Away!
Take your masher, and gently mash away, until you've got the texture and consistency you like.