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Holiday Mashed Potatoes

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    Posted: 30 November 2010 at 16:42
There are so many varieties of many variations of them mashed....and they are all good! For instance some of us like our mashed potatoes lumpy~ those bits of whole potato in the mix bring us a mouthful of joy. Others prefer them smooth as silk, buttery, creamy happiness; a mouthfeel of nothing but warm potato smoothness on the palate. Yet others would rather have some of the skin left on, that slightly crunchy, vitamin packed jacket that's broken into bits and uniformly incorporated into that wonderful bowl of mashed potatoes, giving it that slightly toasted flavour we all love.
Any way, mashed potatoes are the standard for the holidays~ whichever way we like 'em, we American's love our mashed 'taters!
Here we started with a 5 lb bag of regional "golden butter potatoes", very similar to Yukon Gold, but not as rich-yellowy and certainly not able to take on the trademark of that state's pride and joy! Yukon Gold potatoes have a deep yellow buttery color and make up some of the most beautiful mashed potatoes in the world. They are truly "golden". Unfortunately this year we had none available, so we made do...
Rinse them well in the sink, then peel them if you do not want the jacket in the final mash. Personal choice. I love them that way, especially with a steak, but this is Thanksgiving, and tradition rules.
Rinse the peeled potatoes again, then slice them into manageable pieces....whichever way you prefer- chunks or slices, they will cook more easily that way. Put the pieces into a pot of cold water to soak for about 5 minutes, then drain and refill before boiling.
Put the pot of cold water and potatoes on the burner on high and bring to boil and let cook until medium-soft with a fork. Not falling apart, but firm. Then drain water, careful of the steam burns.
Add 1 stick (1/4 cup) butter, 1 cup heavy cream and stir well, mashing up. Then you can either use a manual masher, or electric beaters- like this- to whip them up into their fluffy deliciousness. Add dribs and drabs of whole milk to bring them to the consistency you like.
While doing this, add salt to taste. For the 5 LB bag, about a tablespoon of salt is about right, but personal preferences rule. We always let folks add the pepper on their plate so as not to add dark specks into the pretty potatoes. Place potatoes in a generous bowl and serve immediately. They will add just what you need for the "original home-style touch" to your table, and bring many compliments.
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