mmmm.... mashed potatoes....
I love 'em.
Yeah, normally I boil potatoes, unpeeled, mash them with butter & milk & salt. I like the lumps. And the peel. And lots of milk.
Sometimes I'll add garlic, sometimes not.
We go to my sister's house for TG and her husband cooks up a storm. They like their mashed potatoes lump free so he whips them with an electric mixer. They are delicious that way too!
I do keep the boxed flakes on hand for certain uses. For upset-stomach type of illnesses, they are really perfect as a bland, easy-on-the-stomach meal when recovering. They are also great as a thickener for soups. And I have a bread recipe that calls for instant mashed potato flakes.
As far as moral superiority, yes, I do know some folks who feel morally superior for cooking everything from scratch. I kinda wonder, though, if they really do, or if they just say they do, for the sake of flaunting that supposed superiority.
Me? I prefer to cook everything from scratch but the reality is, I don't always have the time or inclination to do so. And sometimes it's actually cheaper not to. Or cheaper and just as good (if not better) to just buy something premade. So, sometimes, it's worth the effort, sometimes not.