Family members and longtime friends often take great amusement at my career of choice, as I was a remarkably picky eater in my early years. I was no run-of-the-mill fussy child; until my teens, I turned my nose up at even the most basic, revered, and seemingly inoffensive of comfort foods: mashed potatoes. Perhaps I was prejudiced against the delightful spud due to an early negative experience — in the wrong hands they can be reminiscent of wallpaper paste — yet still, of all of my food phobias I've overcome, this might be the craziest and most embarrassing.
Since that first revelatory bite, I've devoured them with relish and have experimented with all sorts of novel add-ins, but I keep coming back to their most simple, unadorned iteration. Bolstered by naught but cream, butter, and salt, this pared-down side might not sound like much to write home about, but don't let that dissuade you. Rather, these are the essence of potato and more than worthy of your Thanksgiving table this year.