Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Any Way You Slice It

Picture if you will: Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ house, everyone (even us kids) gathered around the long table complete with lace tablecloth, the family silver, Grandma's fine china, crystal stemware, candlelit centerpiece; table loaded with the holiday meal and all the trimmings, the cinnamon glazed apples, stuffing, rolls and potatoes, and of course a big golden roasted turkey; Grandpa at the head of the table holding a large carving knife, ready to slice The Bird.

Flash forward to the current day: separate tables are set up – one for the adults and another for the younger crowd; all of the wonderful holiday food served buffet style; the turkey has come out of the oven, golden brown and juicy. Now picture the carving knife … in MY hand. Yep, it’s true – I have become The Carver of the Meat in the family.

Though I happily take on this traditionally honored role, I can’t say I came into it through any great cutting skill or meat-related talents. (Uh, that didn't quite come out the way I meant.) It’s kind of my own doing though – I would watch my father carving the meat at the big holiday meals when we got together. He would grumble a bit in the crowded kitchen as all the food was prepared around him, Mom and my sisters and I bustling around getting everything ready. He continually struggled with the less than sharp knife – and I had a thought: electric carving knife! Brilliant!

So the next time we got together, I brought along my own electric knife that we had received as a wedding gift years before and had stashed in that cupboard above the refrigerator where small rarely used appliances go to collect dust. The time came for Dad to start slicing and I produced the electric knife and proudly presented it to my dad. This didn’t have quite the result I was hoping for - he gladly turned the job over to me and my electric carver. He stayed at my side and kept a watchful eye on me and gave some helpful fatherly suggestions to make sure I was doing it right. And I didn’t do too badly if I do say so.

This year when we got together for yet another holiday meal, I “accidentally on purpose” forgot my electric knife. I thought maybe Dad would resume his carving role – but it turns out that he enjoys himself more hanging out with his sons-in-law in the living room in front of the t.v. discussing sports and fishing. I don’t mind though. While Mom and my sisters are busy with all of the other meal prep, I stand by, electric knife in hand, carving my place in our family tradition.


read2akid said...

My MIL loves hers. Except every year she manages to cut herself with it. This year she cut herself getting it out of the box. I haven't tried it, but it looks very empowering to use it. "I have a carving knife, and I'm not afraid to use it!"

Cat said...

I carved the turkey for the first time this Thanksgiving. Well, actually, I asked my MIL to do the first half, and I tried on the second half.

Previously, I'd only used an electric knife when making puppets.