Cod, Haddock, Cusk, Blue-fish, Shad, Small Salmon, and Bass. These when served whole may be carved in a more satisfactory manner if before cooking they are prepared according to the following directions:
Stuff them and place them upright in the pan instead of on one side. Fish that are broad and short like shad may be kept in place by propping with stale bread or pared potatoes; but others that are narrow in proportion to the length may be skewered or tied into the shape of the letter S.
Thread a trussing needle with strong twine, run it through the head and fasten it there; then bend the head round and draw the needle through the middle of the body. Bend the tail in the opposite direction, run the needle through near the tail, draw the string tightly and fasten it. Gash the skin two inches apart on each side. Fish thus prepared will retain its shape until served.
Place it on the platter with the head at the left and the outward curve on the farther side of the dish. Make an incision along each side of the backbone the entire length of the fish. Then cut through the gashes on the side nearest you and lay each portion away from the bone. Then remove the fish on the farther side of the bone. Raise the bone to reach the stuffing, and serve a little of the fish, stuffing, and sauce to each person. The skeleton should be left entire on the platter.
If the fish has been baked in the usual way and placed on the platter on its side, cut across through to the backbone, but not through it, and serve, apportioning as may be desired. Slip the knife under and remove the portion from the bone. When the fish is all removed from the top, remove the backbone, and then divide the lower portion.
Meats and fish which have the sauce on the same dish require special care in serving, that they may present a neat rather than a sloppy appearance on the plate. A drop of gravy on the edge of the plate will offend a fastidious taste.
Scalloped Dishes, or anything with a crust of crumbs, should be served with a spoon.
Meat Pies, with a pastry crust, require a broad knife and spoon. Put the portion on the plate neatly, with the crust or browned side up.
Poached Eggs, Quails, and other Meats on Toast. A broad knife should be used in helping to these dishes. Take up the toast carefully, and lay it on the plate without displacing the egg or bird.