Feast Like the Locals this Thanksgiving

When we think of Thanksgiving dinner, the traditional items typically jump right to the forefront of our minds: turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pecan pie. But instead of sticking to the cookie-cutter basics, we’ve got some regional cuisine to spice up the menu and make this holiday season one to remember.

Oysters are in season

Did you know that in coastal North Carolina, “oyster season” begins in mid-October and often runs all the way through March? These can be some scrumptious additions to the spread for any meal, including Thanksgiving dinner.

And while it’s particularly fun to host an oyster roast around this time of year, there are a variety of ways to cook oysters in order to include them on the menu. The simplest, and maybe the best starting point for novice seafood chefs, is slow roasting them either on the grill or in the oven. But, if you have some experience or want to branch out and get creative, there are plenty of ways to incorporate these tasty morsels into your holiday festivities.

Sweet potato substitutions

Here in North Carolina, we happen to love biscuits. But, the ones you make for Thanksgiving this year don’t have to be the same ones you’ve had before. By including sweet potatoes in your recipe, you can put delectable, doughy samples on the table that cut the savory flavors of turkey and stuffing with just the slightest hint of sweetness. The best part? This twist doesn’t alter traditional biscuit recipes too much, which means that if you already had plans to bake them from scratch, you won’t have to change much about your shopping list or cooking schedule.

Take a break from turkey 

It’s usually the center of attention on the dinner table every year, and for good reason; a well-cooked turkey fills the home with comforting and rich aromas, not to mention brings everyone together if only for the promise of a hearty holiday meal. But if you’re worried that the main attraction won’t be enough for your guests, or that the leftovers will get passed up because of overindulgence on the holiday, try throwing in a heavier side protein to add a little variety this year. We’d suggest a southern and coastal favorite: shrimp and grits. It’s fairly simple to serve in individual dishes, so that each guest has a small helping to compliment the meal. But, if you want some pointers, there are some great, simple recipes out there that are sure to accentuate any traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

You certainly don’t have to be a native North Carolinian to indulge in these or any other coastal delicacies this holiday season. Whatever you decide to feast on this Thanksgiving, everyone here at Intracoastal Realty wishes you and yours a happy holiday (with plenty of pecan pie, of course)!