In order to be successful in any undertaking, and especially in one which must be performed in the presence of others, it is necessary to understand perfectly every detail of the work. There are a few general truths about carving which must be learned, but no person becomes an expert carver except by serving his apprenticeship well. There are two ways of obtaining necessary practice. One and probably the only way open to boys is to obtain the privilege of carving at the family table. The assurance that all awkward haggling and mussing of table cloths will be overlooked gives courage to persevere in the undertaking. A girl can easily master many parts of this useful art before attempting to carve a fowl or joint of meat at the table.
Carving Knife and Fork
In cutting up raw fowls for stews, fricassees, etc., she can learn to locate each joint so accurately that she will never cut into a bone when the object is to sever smoothly the leg or wing of a fowl at table.
It is an easy matter, by studying cuts of raw meat, to learn which way the muscle fibers run in different parts of the animal, and thus avoid cutting with the grain of the meat, instead of across it.
One thing more should be learned in private, - how to sharpen a knife. The carver must be sharp. No woman is independent unless she can sharpen a knife. Armed with this amount of knowledge, the task of becoming a good carver will be much lessened.
A roast of pork loin should have each division of the vertebrae made before coming into the kitchen.
The platter on which any piece of meat is served must be large enough to hold the meat and leave sufficient space for the slices when cut. A very small platter renders it impossible for the carver to work successfully without soiling the carving cloth, the table cloth, or both.
Remove the bone, and cut the meat in narrow strips. Serve some of the choicest meat with a bit of the tougher portion, and a little fat, if there be any, to each person.
Remove the tenderloin, slice as thin as practicable, and serve some of this with some of the sirloin cut in thin slices.
Place the platter on the table so that the thin side of the joint will be toward the carver, and the shank on the left. Place the carving fork so that the joint can be held firmly and tipped at will. Hold the meat with the thick side up, and cut as many slices as possible. Cut very thin. Separate all the slices at the lower side by passing the knife along very near the bone. Remove the fork, turn the joint, and carve the other side in the same way.
Cut in slices as thin as possible, and pass the knife through the natural divisions of the vertebrae, which have been severed before the roast came into the kitchen.