Rendering our farmhouse and community homecoming

I want you to visualize me three turkeys – the Williams family Thanksgiving turkey. And if you add, at the bottom, the farmhouse where our Yassam, Jae, Mona and Azmeen live and eat their turkey dinners, you can see that our family dinner is not only the symbol of our multicultural American story, but also a symbol of our farming traditions and our strong community of Jamaican immigrants.

I love the looks on my family’s faces when they ask me what they must make. Of course, they want to eat what I cook and perfect. They want the food we make because it’s delicious. And they want to do everything they did before they left their homeland.

The turkeys I prepare every year are a unique blend of ingredients. At our farmhouse – less than one mile from McLean – there are pears, plums, and strawberries. But because those seasonal fruits are seasonal, I do not chop them with a straight knife, as I would a fruit grown in the fall. I look to it with a knife pointed directly at its roots.

When I carve the turkey, I don’t tend to the blade and aim to help the bird in anyway I can. I aim to get all of the center of the turkey muscle, even if it looks like I’m pointing straight up with my left hand. How can you not? The turkey is my love, and the turkey is my purpose.

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