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I need help

By Tony Hicks
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at 1:58 pm in Uncategorized.

Well .. yeah.

Specifically, I’m looking for people who would like to talk – or even just e-mail me – about the time-honored tradition of screwing up the Thanksgiving turkey with an electric knife. Actually, you don’t have to have stories about screwing it up. Just good stories or thoughts.

Personally, I’m scared to death of the day when someone in the family looks at me and says “Here, it’s your turn.” How the hell do you learn to do this? How do you practice? And how do you tolerate your whole family all day while staying sober enough to actually do it without killing someone?

No. I’ll never be that guy. Never. Some people even carve a turkey while at the table, with everybody looking at them. To me, that would be like trying to give an impromptu speech to the shareholders of Apple without owning a computer. How do you become “that” guy? Is it the first time you host the family Thanksgiving? Is it when grandpa dies? Is it when dad divorces mom and spends Thanksgiving in Vegas with his secretary?  I don’t know. And I need to … because they’re making me write a story about it.

Please help.

Thank you for your time.

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7 Responses to “I need help”

  1. Holly Says:

    Thanksgiving was always held at my aunt’s house. . . until the year we got dis-invited because she got mad at my mom (that was nearly a decade ago and we still haven’t been invited back). Now, my mom is a very capable person, but she FREAKS OUT whenever she has to do something she’s never done before. Cooking the turkey was no problem, she is pretty good at smoking, bbq-ing or roasting them. Carving, on the other hand, terrifies her for some reason. The first year she made my brother carve the turkey (this was after he blew off his eyebrows trying to light the smoker – why she then trusted him with a knife, I’ll never know). Amazingly, there was no bloodshed, but the turkey was more shredded than sliced. The next year she looked up instructions (online! go mom!) but the result was not much better than my brother’s attempt, since the barbecue had refused to stay lit and the turkey was burnt on one side and not quite done on the other. There was some last minute microwaving done that day. A couple years ago, it was my turn; by her reasoning, because I’d had to dissect a pigeon in Comparative Anatomy class in college, I was clearly the experienced one. I was tempted to separate out each muscle group and put identifying pins on them, but resisted and sliced it properly. That’s when I discovered what our main problem was – cheap knives! You can’t get a good slice with a dull blade, which is why my brother and mother had been shredding the meat. We got her a set of Henckels kitchen knives for Christmas that year and have had no problems carving the turkey since (haven’t had any problems with the cooking either, thankfully!). She still freaks out in anticipation though.

  2. Ed Says:

    Tony -

    Get yourself an electric carving knife! (about $15) It’s a lot easier and actually fun (kind of like using power tools!) My dad showed me how to carve years ago but I usually let him still do it every year because he enjoys it. Good Luck!

  3. Ed Says:

    Oh – I forgot to mention…. Cook a Large whole chicken and practice carving on it.

  4. Tony Hicks Says:

    Thanks Ed.

  5. heyjoe Says:

    You’re screwed.

    I’ve cut up a chicken before, and chickens is practically turkeys, just minus the roids. I always muck up the wings though; can never get the whole mini-leg piece off w/out butchering it. Like you, I’ve never had to “perform” at the dinner table. Well, not by carving a turkey anyway.

    Go buy yourself a couple of them rotisserie chicks at Safeway and give it a whirl.

    Did I mention that you’re screwed?

  6. Ed Says:

    So Tony – did you carve the Turkey on Thankgiving? Results?

  7. thicks Says:

    Oh God no. I wasn’t hosting and even if I was, I wouldn’t do it. I’m sure the first time I try it – if ever – I’ll start my first cut and the turkey will explode.

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