In a 8-quart pot boil water leaving enough room for the potatoes. Add salt and garlic (optional).
Scrub the potatoes to make sure they are clean and free from any dirt.
Quarter potatoes. Make sure the pieces are similarly sized to ensure even cooking.
Carefully place the potatoes in the boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
Drain potatoes into a colander reserving a little of the liquid (2 cups should be more than enough—you won't need to use it all).
Cool the potatoes for 5 minutes, then rice the potatoes back into your 8-quart pot. If you prefer you can use a potato masher instead of a ricer for a chunkier, skin-on style of mashed potatoes.
Add the half and half, butter, and mix together with a sturdy wooden spoon. Use the reserved water for extra flavor and to get the desired consistency ... or if you prefer, add more half & half for creamier mashed potatoes.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish, serve and enjoy!