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If you've ever heard a relative at Thanksgiving say that the reason for those wonderful potatoes is a "good crop," you may want to show him or her this post. According to The New York Times, the preparation and method used to make those tasty Thanksgiving mashed potatoes doesn't like in the potato itself. The human element is the differentiator.

The kitchen tools used, the lumpiness you would like to achieve for those picky eaters and the muscle you're willing to put into the preparation of that mound o' potatoes are all important variables in potato prep. Do you boil them after peeling or before? Do you leave the skin on or off? When does salt enter the picture? Does chicken broth or milk enter the mixing bowl?

Several people have told me that the skin color (red, yellow, white, so on) makes all the difference. From having made mashed potatoes from all these, the additional ingredients and the prep method are the bigger things at play here -- not the specific kind of potato. I suggest this: do a test run this weekend with red potatoes (as in, mash and cook them) and see if those white potato fans know the difference.

What is your favorite way to get to that delicious bowl of mashed potatoes? What DIY method do you employ? Tell us in comments.

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