Fill a medium, heavy saucepan halfway with cold water and set aside.
Peel the potatoes. Cut one potato in half lengthwise. Place the potato half, flat side down, on the cutting board and cut each half into quarters lengthwise, so you get 4 long pieces. Holding these 4 pieces together with one hand, cut them crosswise into 1-inch cubes.
Place the potato cubes into the saucepan as they are cut, taking care to cover them with cold wateróthis prevents discoloration. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
Once all the potatoes have been added to the pot, make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt.
Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue to boil gently until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
Carefully carry the saucepan to the sink with oven mitts or pot holders. Drain in a colander set in the sink, being careful to pour away from you.
Return the potatoes to the same saucepan and place it over medium heat for 1 minute.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter, milk, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper, and mash the mixture with a potato masher or whisk until light and fluffy.
Yield: 6 cups, serving 6 to 8
The potatoes need to be mashed on the stove over medium-low heatóbe sure to get a grown-up to help you!
To make your mashed potatoes extra delicious try adding any of these: 1/2 cup sour cream, Baby Bam to taste, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1/4 cup crumbled crispy bacon, 1/2 to 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese.