The seat of a carver should be higher than the other seats at the table. He must himself determine the height most convenient for his own use. The platter must be within easy reach. A knife, well sharpened and easy to handle, is an absolute necessity. With these requisites and a careful attention to details, a novice may become an expert after a few trials. The person at the head of the table should never, under any circumstances, use his own individual knife and fork in helping others.
In cutting, be careful not to break the flakes. A fish trowel is almost indispensable in serving the larger varieties. Carry the trowel under the meat over the back-bone, so that the meat may be raised from the bone. The choicest part is next to the head, and deteriorates, towards the tail. The part next to the bone in large fish is not desirable. Divide the fish both crosswise and lengthwise in pieces to suit the number to be served. The roe is esteemed a delicacy, and if on the platter, a morsel must be served to each person.
In order to serve both the light and dark meat, cut off the wing, leg, and second joint nearest you. Then slice down in very thin slices. A good carver will find slices of breast for a large number of people, while a bad one will serve comparatively few with choice pieces. Cut from either side, removing the opposite wing and leg, if necessary. Everyone should be helped to the dressing with the meat.
Cut cross wise off the top in smooth, thin slices. Serve each person with some of the dressing and fat.
With a well-sharpened knife, cut across the grain in thin slices, clear to the bone. Those who prefer it well done, will be served from near the outside; while those wishing it rare, will be served from the inside.
If the bone has been removed by the butcher, and the roast rolled, it will look almost precisely like the fillet of veal in the cut, and must be sliced horizontally in thin slices.
Make a deep cut to the bone across the knuckle end of the joint. Then turn the platter a trifle, put the point of the knife midway of the cut just made, and cut straight and deep toward the opposite end of the haunch. It should then be carved in even slices along the whole length on the right and left.
Slice down to the bone in even slices - not too thin - as indicated by the scores in the rind. Commence at the center and serve from either side.
Separate a shoulder from the carcass on one side, and then separate the leg similarly. The ribs are considered choice. Divide them conveniently, and serve one to each person, with plenty of the stuffing. The leg is not so rich as the ribs, and may be preferred by some. Pieces may also be cut from the joints.
First make a round hole in the center, an inch in diameter, with a tin tube or a sharp-pointed knife. Then cut through to the edge and serve in thin slices.