How do you make mashed potatoes?
I usually make Danish/Southern Swedish potatismos.
To do this properly you peel and cut the potatoes into smaller bits. While Russet Burbanks work, ideally this should be a firmer variety like Kong Edvard, Bientjes, or Yukon Gold.
You then cook the potatoes in chicken or veal stock until tender. Drain and save the stock. Let potatoes cool a little, add pats of butter and lots of heavy cream, and whip with an electric mixer until smooth, plenty of air has been incorporated, and they form peaks.
The same method is used to make Rotmos by including wax turnips, parsnips and carrots in the mix. Rotmos is traditional in the fall, and usually served with roast pork or sausages.
I also make a Schwäbian kartoffelpüree which is similar but uses milk instead of heavy cream and to which you add back a bit of the stock to get the right consistency, which is softer and looser. Puree is traditional with kraut and Schlachtplatte or Kassler Rippchen.
Finally for some dishes like fiskgratäng or with stews, I use presspotatis, which are basically cooked potatoes with no cream or butter added. You can use a regular masher or something like this:
These are much firmer in texture and stand up better to heavy sauces. You also use them in dumplings, like kroppkakor or kartoffelklöse.
I think in English these might be known as riced potatoes.