Vail Daily column: Carving turkeys and turns |

Vail Daily column: Carving turkeys and turns

If guys can design and build nuclear submarines and the interstate highway system, we should be able to do our part to whip up Thanksgiving dinner for our friends and families.

Your first job is to go skiing for a couple hours and stay out of the way, carving the perfect turn. But on Thanksgiving, my Reason for Living allows me to handle sharp implements in her presence. It’s my job to carve the turkey.

She’s ensconced at the other end of the table, safe from the carnage.

People will be looking at you, guys, but don’t panic. This requires tools and chunks of meat, so you’ll be just fine.

There are two very good reasons to learn this manly skill. First, it’s a guy thing. Your father did it, and now it’s your turn. You’ll soon teach this skill to your son. Second, women dig it, which is why guys learned to shower, shave and walk upright.

Your old Uncle Randy, who loves you and wants what’s best for you, will now explain to you how this is done.

First, let the turkey cool 20 to 30 minutes before you grab it. Lucky for us guys, that’s about the same as halftime of Thursday’s Detroit Lions/New England Patriots game.

Letting it cool will reduce the number of second-degree burns on your hands and eloquent profanity cascading from your lips down upon your beloved children.

Start with the legs. Hold your roasted turkey with a large fork. Cut between the body and the leg with a sharp carving knife. As the leg loosens, wiggle it to help expose the joint between the thigh and the body. Cut through that joint to separate the leg. If you encounter resistance, think like the Marines and keep cutting.

You know those commercials that show someone slicing off a piece of still-attached breast? Ignore them, they are part of a sissified conspiracy to make manly men look silly. Cut off the breast in one big meaty chunk by slicing as close to the breastbone as possible.

Then and only then do you cut each breast against the grain into thin, even slices. Against the grain is sideways, guys.

Try to keep some of the crispy skin attached to each slice. When you’re finished, fan out the slices on a platter. Think marketing – it’s not what you have, it’s how you show it to people. Presentation is everything. Also, women dig it when you do this.

You’ve almost completed your paradigm shift to become a carving star. Sever the joint that connects the drumstick and the thigh. Sever it as certainly as Lennon severed from McCartney. Cut the thigh meat parallel to the bone, into even slices and add it to the platter along with the drumstick. If you like wings, cut them from the turkey and add them to the platter as well.

Before you start, make sure your knife is sharp.

Chances are you’ll also have to ask a blessing.

That’s also pretty simple. Thank God, or your version of the all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing beneficent being, that you’re alive and living in America at the best time and in the best place of this planet’s history. Also express thanks that your regional major baseball team is in the National League and you do not have to suffer the indignities of the designated-hitter rule.

Close by quoting Garrison Keillor: “Thank you for this good life and forgive us when we do not love it enough.”

Now take a nap.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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