Tried and True Traditions

I am not known for my cooking, but Thanksgiving is a “Michaux Family” holiday at the beach!  All of John’s family comes down (last year 16 came plus our 4!), and we take the boat and go at low tide to the oyster beds to gather the correct size oysters. Bring them back and cook them over the fire. We made an oyster table with a hole in the middle so the shucked oyster shells can be scraped off the table. Then another load is dumped on the table until the wee hours of campfire chatter and eating!

We do this on Wednesday and Friday with a traditional Thanksgiving turkey feast on Thursday. On Sunday, we do a clam bake and layer chicken, sausage, corn, potatoes, onions, crabs and clams in a pot and cook it. It is so delicious and a great finale to a fantastic Thanksgiving family celebration.

We take all the oyster shells back out to the oyster beds  to provide hard-surface ecosystem habitats for future oyster larvae as well as other marine life. The weather has been so nice these last years, we even went ocean swimming in November! That’s pretty amazing for our “thinned out” Southern blood!

—Donna Michaux, Oak Island


Every Thanksgiving we play a flag football game that we have affectionately named “The Turkey Bowl.” We meet in our neighborhood park to play as soon as we get the turkeys in the oven. It has been a wonderful tradition and each year brings new faces to the teams. We also enjoy burning a few extra calories before our turkey dinner. It is the first thing my kids ask about when they hear the word “Thanksgiving,” and I am sure it is as close as I will ever come to playing in a real football game

—Kristie Disbrow, Southport

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