Martha's Mashed Potatoes
Boil potatoes in a large saucepan just covered with water, adding salt and bay leaves. When cooked, potatoes should be soft but not squishy.
Drain potatoes and return to pot, over very low heat, until they have dried a bit. (Watch it—or they'll burn!)
Add butter and cream cheese a couple of tablespoons at a time, and begin mashing potatoes. (While purists say potatoes must be mashed with a hand masher, I frankly use a mixer at low speed.)
Add pepper and heavy cream to get a smooth creamy texture.
Do not over-beat, as mixture will get pasty.
Best served hot immediately—but they can be kept warm covered in a low heat oven (less than 200 F.) for a couple of hours.