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Any Way You Slice It: 1940

November 1940. "Ledyard, Connecticut. Mr. T.L. Crouch, a Rogerine Quaker, preparing to carve the Thanksgiving turkey." Photo by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Admin. View full size.

November 1940. "Ledyard, Connecticut. Mr. T.L. Crouch, a Rogerine Quaker, preparing to carve the Thanksgiving turkey." Photo by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Admin. View full size.


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Pop Question

Is that a thermometer or an old-fashioned pop-up timer behind the birds' leg?

No Slicing for ME!

I just buy one of those spiral-cut turkeys they sell at the mall. That and a crinkly cellophane-wrapped bouquet of chocolate-covered green beans and my Thanksgiving meal is planned, prepared, and delicious.

Re: Re: This was me

DBell, thank you! I did not know that and have (it is painfully obvious) never studied the proper way to carve a bird. I always just assumed it was not within my skill set to accomplish that task without hacking the poor gobbler to (its second) death. But this sounds like a wondrous thing! I have copied your instructions and will paste them into an email bound for my recipe file. Merry Christmas! We're having ham.


No way. This is clearly Father Fitzgibbon in mufti.

Long before there were plastic pop up turkey timer hickeys.

That thermometer tucked in between the leg and breast is interesting.

Re: This was me

Jenny, way into a long life, I only learned a few years ago, how best to carve that turkey (and chicken) breast!

Remove the wings (even by simply ripping them at the breastbone joint!), and slice a line down the side, as close to the back as possible, deep into the breast meat. Then, carve down just to the side of the breastbone, along the ribs, to the line you cut first. Slip your fingers in, and pry/lift off an entire half breast in one piece!

I lift off the skin (suppressing the desire to gobble it down), slice the breast "roast" on the platter, and cover with the skin. Repeat on the other side.

This was me

Only yesterday! I like to never got that leg off. But wow guys, similar to Mr. Crouch's, our perfectly-crispy-browned 20-pounder was one delicious bird. I was/am thankful that my son-in-law, a master turkey carver, arrived in the nick of time to slice and stack the succulent slabs of juicy white (and some dark) meat on the pre-warmed platter.

No Ordinary Quaker

Although often referred to as Rogerene Quakers, the Rogerenes had no connection to the Society of Friends. Instead, they were originally a splinter sect of the Rhode Island Seventh Day Baptists. Founded by John Rogers Sr. in the late 1670s, the sect persisted into the early 20th century. Some of their beliefs were considered scandalous by their more orthodox neighbors. Like Baptists, they believed in adult baptism only. Like Christian Scientists, they believed in healing by prayer and not by medicine. As the 20th century progressed, the Rogerene community dissolved.

A Turkey's Most Challenging Flight

... is from the roaster to the serving plate. Let's hope Mr. Crouch lands it! (And with ten children to feed (plus possible guests), there's a lot riding on that transition.)

This is Timothy Levi Crouch, whose wife graced this site last Thanksgiving:

Mr. Crouch at Find-a-Grave:

Hoping all Shorpyites have enjoyed a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

I hope ...

Mr. Delano was invited to share what must have been a wonderful meal with a wonderful family.

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