Basic Mashed Potatoes
Place potatoes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover; salt water to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. While potatoes cook, heat milk and butter in a small pot over medium heat. Keep warm.
Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Shake them over medium heat to evaporate any remaining liquid. Pass potatoes through a ricer or mash. Stir in milk mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Options: stir in roasted garlic, a pinch of nutmeg or sprinkle with grated Parmesan or crumbled blue cheese; substitute sour cream for the milk.