Auburn Civitans Smoke Turkeys and Hams for Thanksgiving and Christmas

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Kirk Iversen of the Civitan Club of Auburn bastes smoked turkeys before removing them from the pit in 2019. This is the 50th year that the Civitan Club has smoked turkeys and hams for the holidays.

Contributed by the
Civitan Club of Auburn

The Civitan Club of Auburn will continue a 50-year holiday tradition by smoking turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year, Civitans smoked 120 turkeys and 90 hams at the Elks Club smoking pit on Opelika Road.

Billy Kennedy, president of the Civitan Club of Auburn, wants everyone to know, “Turkeys and hams will be available hot off the pit on Sunday afternoon, 22 November and again on Saturday, 20 December. They are the most delicious $40 you will find anywhere.”

Orders can be placed with any Civitan member or by calling Laurel Hendrix at 334-545-0069. Leave your name, order (turkey or ham) and contact information. Both turkeys and hams are $40 each. Orders can be picked up at the smoking pit behind the Elks Club on Opelika Road after noon on Sunday, Nov. 22, or after 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20. All turkeys and hams must be pre-ordered.

Charles Mitchell, another Auburn Civitan, has been involved in smoking turkeys for over 29 years. He said the best part of the turkey is what’s left after all the smoked turkey is consumed. He boils the bones in water with salt and herbs, adds fresh vegetables and makes the best smoked turkey soup you can find anywhere. He doesn’t have a recipe because each year it changes depending upon the vegetables and herbs available, but he swears it’s always good.

Mitchell added, “Don’t forget the bone from the smoked hams. Save this to season your holiday collard greens or turnips or freeze it to cook later with your New Year’s Day black-eyed peas and collard greens. It converts a ho-hum dish into a gourmet meal.”

The Civitan Club of Auburn is part of Civitan International, a civic club headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Funds raised from this annual event help Civitans support projects for children and adults with disabilities including the Civitan International Research Center at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Camp ASCCA on Lake Martin and Special Olympics. The Civitan Club of Auburn also provides the American flags that are displayed in downtown Auburn on holidays and is a sponsor of the Bicycle Safety Program in Auburn City Schools.

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