It is no trifling accomplishment to carve well, and both ladies and gentlemen ought to so far make carving a study that they may be able to perform the task with sufficient skill at least to prevent remark. There are no real difficulties in the way of mastering the accomplishment; knowledge simply is required. All displays of exertion are in bad taste, because they indicate a want of ability on the part of the carver, or are a strong indication of the toughness of the roast or the age of the bird. A good knife of moderate size and great sharpness is a necessity. Fowls are easily carved, and in roasts such as loins, breasts, fore-quarters, etc., the butcher should always have instructions to separate the joints. The platter should be placed so near to the carver that he has full control over it; if far off nothing can prevent an ungraceful appearance. In carving a turkey, place the head to the right, cut off the wing nearest you first, then the leg and second joint; then slice the breast until a rounded, ivory-shaped piece appears; insert the knife between that and the bone and separate them; this part is the nicest bit of the breast; next comes the "merry-thought." After this, turn over the bird a little, and just below the breast you will find the "oyster," which you can separate as you did the inner breast. The side bone lies beside the rump, and the desired morsel can be taken out without separating the whole bone. Proceed in the same way upon the other side. The fork need not be removed during the whole process. An experienced carver will dissect a fowl as easily as you can break an egg or cut a potato. He retains his seat, manages his hands and elbows artistically, and is perfectly at his ease. There is no difficulty in the matter; it only requires knowledge and practice, and these should be taught in the family, each child taking his turn. Chickens and partridges are carved in the same way. The trail of a woodcock on toast is the choicest bit of the bird; also the thigh of a partridge.
A fillet of veal is cut in thin, smooth slices off the top, and portions of the stuffing and fat are served to each. In cutting a breast of veal, separate the breast and brisket, and then cut them up.