basic mashed potatoes

1 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
peeled and cubed, hold in water to keep from turning pink
1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes
peeled and cubed
1/2 stick butter
or more to taste
1/4 cup cream
  • large pot
  • colander
We once tried to buy a container of mashed potatoes from the Whole Foods salad bar. When we learned at the register that the container cost $14, we decided to figure out how to make them ourselves.
Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife.
Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes until tender.
Take a first pass at coarsely mashing the potatoes. Nestle the butter in and once softened, continue mashing to desired consistency. Add cream at this point if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper.