Every Thanksgiving is a little different at our house. Since living in California, away from parents and siblings, we sometimes eat with a lot of people and sometimes eat with just a few. Sometimes we host and sometimes we are guests. Sometimes we are with visiting family or sometimes with local friends. We always cook something, usually pumpkin pie; my family can’t get enough of the stuff. We always eat turkey but it’s never cooked the same way. The one static piece of Thanksgiving: I never carve the turkey.
I guess I got lucky, always a master around to tackle the bird. My dad was the eternal carver, twice a year for him: Thanksgiving and Christmas. We knew we were getting close to eating when we could hear the “whir” of the electric knife cutting slices of turkey breast or detaching drumsticks and wings. The quick action serrated blades, moved back and forth rapidly, creating a sawing motion through the meat and leaving the master carver well rested to tackle the silverware at the dinner table. My dad never complained of carpel tunnel or how much work it was to cut up Old Tom. We never thought a turkey could be carved any other way until we moved out.
Since I met my husband during college, he became the next master carver. He’s pretty handy with a knife. He doesn’t need any “volts”; he’s strong enough and controlled enough to make the knife work under his power. Watching him cut up an onion is like watching a Ginsu knife commercial. There was no question as to who would carve the turkey. I think turkey-carvers are a rare breed. My hubby carves at home and away. He’s so good people tell him he should have been a surgeon. “Oh. I can’t stand the sight of blood.”
Roast beef or roast chicken, he’s the man! So imagine what happens if he is traveling in Virginia and I’ve got a hankering for roast chicken at home. I’m excellent at roasting; just don’t ask for a work of art when it comes to pretty pieces for eating. I’m a chicken-mangler, post roast. I sent a picture of my handiwork to my traveling husband: “EGAD!” You would think it was a murder scene. “I have GOT to teach TJ how to cut the chicken for you.” Not, “I have to teach YOU how to cut up a chicken.” It tastes the same even if parts are incomplete.
Thus, I am in a perpetual state as a non-turkey-carver. I’m happy with this tradition. I’m happy it is the only thing to never change at Thanksgiving. It may sound old-fashioned or helpless. Sometimes it’s ok to pick a few of those to keep and break the mold for others. Any guesses as to who puts up the Christmas lights on the house?
Please Pass the shoezle. Maybe at your table share some turkey-carving stories of your own; shoezle can get you started.Share on Facebook