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Really Rich Mashed Potatoes

Some people begin to cry if there are no mashed potatoes at special dinners. If you are one of these people, this is your recipe. These make a potato mashed only with butter and milk look like its mother didn't love it. You will need an old-fashioned hand masher to make these properly.

8 to 10 baking potatoes (4 to 5 pounds total)
4 ounces ( 1/2 8-ounce brick) cream cheese
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon salt (sounds like a lot, but it really isn't)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set the oven rack at the upper middle level. Scrub the potatoes and bake them for about 1 hour.

Remove from heat.

Fill a large mixing bowl with very hot water and let the water warm the bowl while you slice each potato in half. Discard the water.

Put all ingredients EXCEPT the potatoes into the bowl and scoop out the potato flesh on top of these (this helps the dairy ingredients to melt). Discard the skins, or nibble on them while you prepare the mashed potatoes -- hey, you're the cook!

With a real honest-to-goodness hand masher -- not a food processor, not an electric mixer -- mash the potatoes thoroughly and serve at once.

Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.

Thursday, December 16, 1999

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