With turkey day coming up I found a great tip when dealing with mashed potatoes. Soak the potato cubes in cold water for about 30 minutes before cooking. Drain the water and then add fresh, then onto the burner and cook as normal. The soaking process helps get a lot of the excess starch off the potatoes and when you go to mash or whip them, avoid the gummy mess that can happen.
For the newbie cook, another tip is to use half and half instead of milk, maybe add some sour cream with the butter and milk. An extra yummy addition is a block of cream cheese.