This is a great method of making mashed potatoes for a crowd. It seems like I'm always short on time (or a burner) when it comes to last minute side dishes during the holidays, so this method is a big help.

5 pounds peeled potatoes cut into 1" cubes
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups HOT half and half (divided)

The ABOVE ingredients will take a large
(7 quart) crock-pot:

If you are just feeding a family of 6, cut the above ingredients in HALF and
it in a
4 quart crock-pot:
In either case, spray the crock-pot with cooking spray and put your raw cubed potatoes and butter pieces in the crock-pot.

Mix the water with the salt and pepper and pour it over the potatoes and butter pieces:

Cover with a lid and cook on high for 4 hours (or till tender). TIP: If you put a couple of potholders on the top of the crock-pot lid (as shown in the above photos), then the potatoes will be cooked in 3 hours instead of 4.
After the potatoes are tender, DO NOT DRAIN. Give the potatoes a rough mash with a hand held potato masher first, then add one cup of HOT half and half and finish whipping them with a hand held electric mixer (right in the crock-pot). Add the final half cup of half and half if you think the potatoes need it.
These mashed potatoes can be kept on the warm setting of the slow cooker for up to two hours.
Even if your crock-pot doesn't have a warm setting, you can still keep these mashed potatoes hot by covering the whole crock-pot with a heavy towel. They will stay hot for quite a while.