3–6 tablespoons of butter (I go for the lower end of that, but it depends on how creamy you like them)
1/3 –1/2 cup of half-and-half, milk, or buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
Black or white pepper (I like LOTS, like a teaspoon or more)
Peel the potatoes (or don’t). Cut them so that they are all approximately the same size. Drop into a pot of cold water along with the garlic cloves, cover, and turn the heat to high
Bring to a boil and then crack the lid so it doesn’t boil over and make a mess in your friend’s kitchen. Boil 10-30 minutes until a fork or skewer stuck in the middle gives almost no resistance. The time depends on the type and size of your potatoes.
While they cook, heat the butter and half-and-half together until the butter melts.
Drain the potatoes carefully and return them to the pot.
Add the butter/half-and-half and the salt and pepper. Mash them with a potato masher until they’re as smooth as you want. Alternatively you can use an electric mixer for super-smooth and fluffy potatoes.