I'm impressed by this article: "How to make amazing mashed potatoes" in the Salon.com food section. The article includes a long discussion of mashed potatoes with a seven-step recipe for what most people consider a no-brainer. It has a long description of various potato types and their starch content, and how to keep the starch from escaping into the mixture and turning your potatoes into library paste.
My father, a connoisseur of potatoes, insisted that his potatoes be cooked in salted water and then dried in the pot before serving. Both of these steps are recommended in this detailed recipe. Also, one is told to use a ricer or a hand-cranked food mill, not a potato masher or any electric device like a food processor.
I'm a little lazy, but I'm convinced that as the article claims, the simplest foods can be made awesome by careful technique.