Mashed Potatoes with Love

Our boys take their own lunch to school every day. Both of our boys are now in high school (time truly flies by!) and I can still count on one hand the number of times they have had to eat a “tray lunch” as they call them. Two of those times came in 2004, when Hurricane Frances left us without power for several days.

The first day, we asked the guys what they had for lunch. Our youngest responded with “turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and a roll.” Dom asked how it tasted, to which he replied, “the turkey was dry, the dressing was gooey and the mashed potatoes were terrible.” We commented that it was kind of difficult to mess up mashed potatoes and Sonny said, “they weren’t made with love.” Dom and I looked at each other and said in unison, “Butter!” Today in our house, the word love is synonymous with butter (at least in the kitchen.)

3 large potatoes (Idaho or Yukon Gold), peeled and cubed
Water to boil
1 stick butter
1 cup milk
Salt to taste

Cut your peeled potatoes into 3-4” cubes and place them into a saucepan. Add water until potatoes are covered. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and cook covered for 20 minutes or until a fork can easily be poked through their center. Drain water from the potatoes and return them to the hot pan, cover tightly and let steam for 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to dry a bit so they'll soak up the butter and cream more easily and mash to a better texture. Add the butter and milk to the pot. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes to the desired texture. Add more milk if needed to get the consistency you would like. We sometimes use a hand-mixer which mixes the potatoes well. {Beware: a food processor will turn your potatoes into library paste!} Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.