Basic Mashed (Whipped) Potatoes

Ingredients for 6 servings:
1. 4 lbs idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced 2 inches thick
2. 1/2 cup butter
3. 1 cup half-and-half, warmed
4. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
5. 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper (or to taste)

Directions:
1. Place the potatoes in a large cooking pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer until the potatoes are just tender (20 to 30 minutes).
2. Drain water. Reserve 1 cup if you want to substitute the potato water for the half and half to save calories. Mix on low speed of an electric mixer.
3. Add the butter after cutting it into several pieces so it melts faster (melt it first if you want to so that the potatoes remain steaming hot). Add the warmed half and half or the 1 cup reserved potato water.
4. Mix again with the electric mixer, starting on low and increasing the speed to reach the desired consistency. Add the salt and pepper.

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