Rich, Rustic Mashed Potatoes...Thanksgiving and Family ~ By Bonnie Banters        
Approximately 6/ea. 2/3 c. servings


  • 3 large Idaho potatoes (a little over 2 lbs.)
  • approx. 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. table salt (or to taste), plus about 3/4 tsp. for water to boil the potatoes
  • approx. 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) salted butter (cut into about tablespoon-size cubes)
  • about 2 TB evaporated milk (or as needed to achieve desired consistency) Don't use any other milk or cream...this makes the recipe! (But, I think I explained that.)


  • 1 TB butter
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • fresh parsley sprig

©Bonnie Banters™.  All rights reserved.                                  (page 1 of 2)


  1. Scrub and peel the potatoes completely or partially, or don't peel at all.  (My daughter prefers a little peel left on the potatoes, as I used in the potatoes pictured above.)  Remove any bad spots and cut the potatoes into eighths, or 2" uniformly as possible so the potatoes will cook evenly.  (Avoid cutting the pieces too small, or the potatoes may absorb too much water while cooking...I believe I learned that from my brother-in-law many years ago.)
  2. Place the potatoes into a sauce pot and cover them with cold (about 6 c.) water.  Sprinkle about 3/4 tsp. salt into the pot.
  3. Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium-high heat and cover with a lid.   Boil the potatoes approximately 20 minutes (check after 15 minutes), or until a fork inserted into a couple of potatoes goes in and out easily and the potatoes are tender without being soupy or mushy...don't overcook!  Stir frequently with a wooden spoon to keep the potatoes from settling onto the bottom of the pan.
  4. Drain the potatoes don't want water-logged potatoes
  5. Place the potatoes back into the sauce pot and immediately sprinkle with the salt and pepper (the seasoning is better absorbed at this point).  Mash* the cut-up butter into the potatoes. 
  6. Mash in the evaporated milk, adding a teeny bit more at a time if necessary to achieve a good consistency without being, here again, soupy or mushy.
  7. Pile the potatoes high into a bowl and garnish as suggested above:  Make a slight indentation in the center and add about a tablespoon of butter...let the butter melt and drizzle down the potatoes.  For color, sprinkle lightly with paprika and add a parsley sprig on the side of the potatoes.  Serve immediately while warm.*  

Potato Mashers:  *I prefer a smooth potato masher similar to OXO's #34581...not trying to sell this particular masher...I just couldn't find a consistent description of the type of masher I use.  Also, I prefer using a masher to using a mixer; and some people even like a little surprise lump here or there in their mashed potatoes.  These potatoes should have body, but shouldn't be stiff either...definitely not soupy or mushy (did I say that already?).

If it's not possible to serve the potatoes immediately:  Before you dish the potatoes into a bowl, you can use a double boiler to keep them warm on low heat for a little while on the stove top.  Just keep the potatoes in the sauce pot before you garnish them.  Then create a double boiler by bringing a little water to simmer in a large sauce pan with high sides and wider than the pot with the potatoes.  Place the sauce pot with the potatoes into the simmering water.  Cover the potatoes and stir them frequently, adding a little more evaporated milk if necessary.

Leftovers:  Stir some chopped green onion (stems and all) into the mashed potatoes and refrigerate until cold.  Form the mixture into about 2" patties and fry in a little (equal amount of) butter and olive oil.  You'll find these easy potato patties delicious and worthy of making extra mashed potatoes for leftovers!

Suggested Thanksgiving Theme:  Have each person bring a favorite old family photo, not more than 5" x 6", and share why they love it so much.  Place each photo at their place settings!    ©Bonnie Banters™.  All rights reserved.                                  (page 2 of 2)