The carving knife should be light, of middling size, and of a fine edge.
Strength is less required than skill in the manner of using it; and
to facilitate this, the butcher should be directed to divide the
joints of the bones of all carcass joints of mutton, lamb, and veal,
(such as neck, breast, and loin,) which then may easily be cut into thin
slices, attached to the bones. If the whole of the meat belonging to
one should be too thick, a small slice may be taken off between
every two bones.
The more fleshy joints (as fillets of veal, leg or saddle of mutton, and
beef,) are to be helped in thin slices, neatly cut, and smooth. Observe
to let the knife pass down to the bone in the mutton and beef joints.
The dish should not be too far off the carver, as it gives an awkward
appearance, and makes the task more difficult. Attention is to be paid
to help every one to a part of such articles as are considered best.
In helping fish, take care not to break the flakes, which in cod and
very fresh salmon are large, and contribute much to the beauty of its
appearance. A fish knife not being sharp, divides it best. Help a part
of the roe, milt, or liver, to each person. The heads of carp, part of
those of cod and salmon, sounds of cod, and fins of turbot, are likewise
esteemed niceties, and are to be attended to accordingly.
In cutting up any wild fowl, duck, goose, or turkey, for a large party,
if you cut the slices down from pinion to pinion, without making wings,
there will be more handsome pieces.