On cooking a Sunday lunch, I found myself with the unenviable task (as a vegetarian) of trimming a chicken. After a brief thumb through Delia's Complete Cookery Course and a few other choice cookbooks in search of a diagram, I opted for a consultation with my brother, before handing over to him entirely. This was met with a barrage of complaints regarding my tools 'you need to sharpen your knives' and 'do you not have another chopping board', before I was presented with four immaculate chicken fillets. He had been on a carving course at Simpsons on the Strand, London.
And he's not the only one. Carving courses and butchery classes are on the rise, taking over from making that perfectly iced cake and homemade breads, jams and chutney's, and proving particularly popular among women.
Even in the midst of the baking boom, domestic goddesses are mastering the art of the cleaver, butchery board and the difference between a rib-eye or rump, as butchery has become fashionable.
The award winning and London-based butcher, The Ginger Pig, has seen the number of people attending its classes double every year since their launch in 2007, with a third of attendees being women. And with courses popping up all over the country, from The River Cottage to Allen's in Mayfair, forget salad duty for this year's BBQ's.
But whether people are just looking for a few pointers in recreating a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall meat fest, reacting to the closure of local butcher's, or just looking to save a few pennies, it seems that just cooking your own meat these days will no longer cut it to be considered a serious foodie - home curing and butchering a piece of pork, chicken breast, or lamb shank, is becoming a must.
And the timing couldn't be better. Forgotten cuts of meat (the ones probably more familiar to your grandmother than your mother) are back this year, with gourmets swapping their sirloin for a brisket, chuck or cheek.
Waitrose supermarket has even opened a 'forgotten cuts' meat counter, with inspiration for one of this year's big trend predictions, thrifty food, with plenty of scope for making a slow roasted pork belly, oxtail stew, or a traditional English steak and kidney pie.
But this metaphorical belt tightening doesn't hide the fact that the supposed 'cheap cuts' can prove very expensive. On a recent trip to a supermarket, lamb shanks were being sold for over seven pounds whereas a whole chicken further down the aisle cost around four (or a little more if you opted for organic), and this could then be cut, sliced and trimmed at home to make up many and various tasty lunchtime and evening meals.
With the loss of many local butcher's, most notably, as an Islington child, the chocolate egg-wielding Mr Wall's, butchery classes are a great way of getting to know where our fillets and chops come from, while saving a few extra pennies. But with all the will in the world, can cuts such as scrag end and the more obscure pieces of offal ever become fashionable?