The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

CARVING.                                       123
the sockets, and torn, as it were, from the body. The neck-bones are now twisted off with the fork, after which the breast is removed whole by cutting through the ribs with the knife, and then a separa-ration of the backbone in the middle divides the remaining part of the body into the back and neck. The former of these may again have its side-bones easily removed with the knife, each containing a delicious morsel in a sort of spoon-shaped cavity, which is much prized by epicures.
When a cold roast fowl is to be served at a breakfast or supper party it is often the custom to carve it up completely with a sharp knife, and then put the joints together again, keeping them in their places by means of white ribbon tied in bows. This is a very good expedient in such a case, as it prevents the exhibition of bad carving, and facilitates the rapid serving of the guests, which is essential to success in such matters.
Geese and ducks are carved very much on the same principle as the turkey and fowl, excepting that there is very little meat on the "merry thought/5 which is also more difficult to cut off. In the goose the best parts will be found in the breast, which is, however, not so meaty as that of the turkey, and the slices are much more shallow. Ducks are cut in slices when large, or, if small, are disjointed like fowls. If these are dressed with seasoning, it should not be dis­tributed on the plates without ascertaining that it is agreeable to the tastes of the party to be served.
The grouse is usually separated at once into the breast portion, the back and the legs, which may readily be done without cutting, by inserting the fork in the former and raising it without depressing the latter. When this is done the knife may be carried longitudinally through the breast, so as to divide it into two equal portions, after which the back and legs may be halved in the same way. Some peo­ple, however, divide the grouse differently, by cutting off a leg and a wing together, and leaving a small breast* so as to make either three or five portions out of the bird.
The guinea chicken is carved in the same way as the grouse, and so is the quail.
A pheasant may be sliced on the breast like a turkey, after which, if the party requires it, the plan of carving for the roast fowl must be adopted.
The woodcock is carved like the grouse, distributing it into four, or sometimes two portions only, and giving out the toast in the same way, equally to each plate. The thigh is usually considered the most delicate part of the bird.
The snipe is only large enough to divide into a breast and back, with the legs. The toast is the same as for the woodcock.