I have mentioned several times over the last few weeks how much of a holiday junkie I am. I love the smells of the fall and of cinnamon and gingerbread candles and the smell of yummy hearty foods baking in the oven on Thanksgiving morning.

Butter Ball recently asked me to share a favorite Thanksgiving memory of mine:

Naturally any Thanksgiving my hubby is home is the best considering we have missed quite a few holidays together. Surprisingly though, one of my best Thanksgiving memories was when he was deployed. It was November of 2007  and two of my closest friends stationed at Hunter Army Airfield with me ,husbands were deployed too. We banned together and Sherrill my bestie and neighbor brought her Patti Labelle Somewhere Over the Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese and the turkey. I stayed up overnight preparing everything from rice and beans , ham, bacon garlic string beans to cakes and pies. My other friend Erin brought all the utensils , desserts and drinks.

Just some of the food we had and there was a ton more not seen here...

I had been alittle down because no one from my family could make it but that day in addition to Erin and Sherrill, I went from having two extra people to more like thirteen. My best friend since childhood showed up all the way from NC. Sherrill’s mom her sister and sister’s fiancee as well as Erin and her mom and family came over. That combined with all of our kids made for one of the best holiday memories simply because in a time that can be a sad and lonely place for a military spouse, we made the best of it by coming all together and sharing our thanks!


Butterball wants 2 of my lucky readers to have a Turkey on them this Thanksgiving!

Simply leave a comment below telling us your best Thanksgiving memory or kitchen blooper.

Make sure to leave a valid email with each comment.

Extra Ways to Win

Of course I love to give you extra ways to win. Simply leave a comment for each extra entry you do. you must complete the mandatory entry to do a bonus entry.

1. Visit the Butterball and tell me a recipe of their’s you would try .

2. Subscribe to Army Wife 101 by email and verify

3. Follow @armywives101 & @butterball and tweet ” Share your turkey day memory and win a @butterball turkey at http://bit.ly/aNMoYT @armywives101 #giveaway #milspouse

4. Like Army Wife 101 on FB

5. Like Butterball on FB (say hi from Army Wife)

Contest ends November 11, 2010 at 11:59 EST

Winner will be chosen via Random.org

Disclosure: Butterball sent me 3 Gift cards to complete this post. No other form of compensation was received.



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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of SoFluential.com a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

148 Comments on *CLOSED*Foodie Friday:Thanksgiving Memories & Free Butterball Turkey Giveaway!!!

  1. My favorite Thanksgiving memory was last year when all of the wives in my husbands unit got together and spent all day hanging out and eating food. Our husbands were all deployed at the time and what better way to spend the holiday than with people who love you and are going through the same thing you are.

  2. Unfornatlely this is our first Thanksgiving together as a family. The past few years my husband was either deployed or in training. We have 3 kids under 3 and this is their First thanksgiving with daddy home. This would be very special for us. Thank you, Allison

  3. Favorite Thanksgiving was the one of 2009. It was right before my husband deployed to Iraq. It made me cherish him even more. My whole family was there and it was just amazing. He left shortly after that for 8 months.

  4. I would say my favorite Thanksgiving memories was from when I was a kid. My family used to all get together, from aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family, and grandparents. We would all have so much fun. And always there would be a food fight of some sort. Now everyone lives so far away it is very rare we all get together.

  5. When I was younger we had Thanksgiving every year at my Aunts. Well one year I was so hungry I ended up eating a million pickles right before dinner. As we all sat down I could feel my stomach start to churn…. lets just say all those pickles ended up on the floor right next to the kitchen table as the turkey was being carved :) Oooopsss!!

  6. My favorite Thanksgiving memory is baking pies and enjoying the day with my kiddos! Oh and of course going through the store ads getting ready for the after Thanksgiving sales. Can’t wait again this year!

  7. My favorite Thanksgiving memory was also, funny enough, while my husband was deployed. And it was very recent, last year in fact. Like I said, my husband was deployed and I was feeling a little down but still wanted to do a big Thanksgiving for my daughter to enjoy> My good friend there & her daughters (her husband was deployed as well), my daughter, my grandma who came to visit & I all had a great Thanksgiving together. We SO much food and it was amazing to be able to eat my grandma’s delicious Thanksgiving sides & dishes after a couple of years of spending Thanksgiving apart.

  8. I’ll share a funny story, so last year at Thanksgiving I had a blooper of epic proportions. My husband had just returned from yet another deployment, this one being 15 months so I really wanted to make our Thanksgiving and Christmas special because he had missed the two previous years. I woke up, after making sure my turkey had defrosted for almost two days. I break out the brand new (and first real “turkey” pan I have ever purchased-always used the throw away ones before) delux model Roasting pan. It was a great deal, so I decided to stop making more trash and purchase it. I prepare the turkey, goodness knows Butterballs are already wonderful so I didn’t have to do tons, but I did have to do a few things. Stuff the turkey, love him, thank him for his sacrifice, etc, etc. So, I get all of that done. And pop that bad boy in the oven. Four hours later…(that was in the tone of the guy from Sponge Bob)..welll, lets just say it looks great, and when I keep checking on it it gets more and more lovely looking. Finally, its time to eat, and my husband does the honors of carving….only to figure out that it IS NOT cooked in the middle…..Why, why would it not be cooked in the middle? Guess ladies, it isn’t hard. While doing all of the prep, I thought I had pulled out the bag of giblets etc. Oh no, no I had not. I cooked it with the bag in, and it was frozen as a rock around the back end of that bag….needless to say it messed up the prep time for everything else. It was awful and I felt like a failure. It does make a pretty ha ha story now, but I was mortified. Lesson learned though!

  9. One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories is when my husband and I were in the Navy. It wasn’t our first Thanksgiving together as a couple but it was the first one where both our families were present. His mom and my mom each did a turkey and then preceeded to try to outdo each other in the kitchen! We had both invited some of our shipmates who weren’t going home for the holidays over and of course we had a few drop-ins. There were so many people and food….it was incredible! I think we had Thanksgiving dinner for the rest of the week so we could just finish everything before it went bad. I never had that much fun since being in the military.
    Now that we are an Army family, we are going to invite some single soldiers over so they don’t spend the holidays alone and hopefully have another fun filled day. Of course now I’m the only one that’s going to be cooking so we’ll see how much fun I’ll be :)

  10. The “Easy No-Bake Pumpkin Pie” recipe on the Butterball website sounds delicious! I bookmarked it & might just try it this Thanksgiving!

  11. My favorite thanksgiving memory would probably be last year. We had some friends over and after dinner, the guys went to play the playstation while me and my friend sat around and chit chatted. Well, while we were doing our thing, our toddlers decided to climb on the table and get into anything that was left out. They poured salt all over the cinnamon bread, and butter all over everything else. Her little girl came walking around the corner COVERED on butter and theny son comes around following her. They found it to be hysterical!! Is, not so much at the time. NOW it’s a pretty entertaining story though. Haha

  12. I would say that the craziest Thanksgiving Dinner we ever had was in 2005. We were stationed down in Ft. Hood Tx and had just gotten orders to PCS to Ft. Polk La. We had to do a DITY Move because the movers were not going to get to us until one month after he had to sign in. So the day before Thanksgiving, we loaded our 4 bedroom household goods into a 32 ft. truck (in the pouring rain). The next morning bright and early loaded 3 children and ourselves and headed to Louisiana. We took the longest route imaginable via Dallas then went over into East Texas and stopped in at my Grandparents to have a quick Turkey Day Dinner and say goodbye to all of our loved ones. Then drove the last 6 hrs of our journey on stuffed bellies to Fort Polk, LA. Actually, it turned out to be the last Thanksgiving Dinner that I got to share with my Grandfather. So even as exhausted and frustrated as I was that day, I would not have done it any other way!!

  13. Every Thanksgiving with family has been wonderful. Every Thanksgiving my husband has been home has been even better. There have been only 2 Thanksgivings where we weren’t able to celebrate with family, 2009 and this year, 2010. I love being with family, but just managing to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner on my own and spending the day with my husband and boys has been very memorable. Last year in Texas we had two of our friends and their children over for dinner since their husbands were deployed. We are now at Fort Campbell and will be doing the same thing this coming Thanksgiving with a few friends of ours whose husbands are deployed. They may not be family, but not all family is blood and I’m sure great memories will be made! :)

  14. My favorite memory of thanksgiving was acually last year! The guys were due to deploy so in September 2009 I threw a whole thanksgiving dinner for the soldiers in my hubbys unit to enjoy! We had a wonderful time getting together and enjoying all the holiday festivities even tho it was September :) Memories that i will always cherish and hold dear to my heart!

  15. My favorite Thanksgiving memory is the first time I made Thanksgiving Dinner for my husband and I and his family. I called my mom a million times asking her questions about how to cook the turkey and make all of the sides that I had loved growing up. I was so nervous about that meal, but in the end it all came out just right and everyone loved it! We took pics of the food like it was a newborn baby! LOL!

  16. I would try Butterball’s recipe for Cranberry Pumpkin Crumble Cheesecake Squares. They look YUMMY! My hubby loves Cranberry and I love Pumpkin and Cheesecake! :p

  17. I would definitely try Butterball’s Citrus Mustard Basted Turkey

    My holiday blooper was the first year I made Thanksgiving dinner for the family. Usually my hubby and I would visit family for holiday dinners but I decided that it would be fun to have one at my house. All was going good but when I pulled the turkey out of the oven, my aunt pointed out that I put the turkey in the pan breast-side down. I remember thinking I should put it in the pan the way the bird would stand. LOL.

  18. My favorite Thanksgiving memory is that of Thanksgiving 2003. That was my daughter’s last Thanksgiving and I cooked dinner for the entire family (lots of them!). That was truly the last happy holiday I had. I can still picture her pretty face in a photo from that day ;)

  19. My favorite memory is when my Mother forgot to plan for a pumpkin pie. As I was kneading the dough, a pair of tiny hands crept onto the table with mine.
    So, my 3 year old niece and I made pie crust. Back then, Jess had a little bit of a speech delay. She said “We’re making pie puss. We’re making bid durl pies.”
    My sister took pictures of our hands, and they are precious pictures to me. Also precious was watching her standing in front of the oven, waiting patiently for her “Bid Durl Pie” to be ready.

  20. My Thanksgiving blunder would be when I lived right next door to my cousin one year (our back porches were attached) so I had gotten a Ham and my work gave me a Turkey we decided I’d do the ham she would do the turkey so we got them all out and ready and went to our prospective ovens a few hours later she comes over for coffee and says y doesn’t your house smell like ham yet and long story short I had forgotten to turn my oven on and low and behold when she went back in her kitchen to baste the turkey she realized she had forgotten to turn her oven on too lol needless to say we ate our Thanksgiving dinner REALLY late that night :)

  21. The first time I ever cooked thanksgiving dinner I left the bag of giblets inside lol! So embarrassing!! This Thanksgiving my husband is deployed so I will have to make him a plate and take a picture of it for him lol.

  22. One of my favorite memories was cooking all of our favorites in the tiny little oven and 2 burner stove at the Fort Campbell Inn. We had just arrived and I started preparing everything, we even made the house keeping ladies a sweet potatoe and cheesecake pie! Of course after I had everything ready one of my husbands new co-workers called and invited us over. We grabbed the food and made some wonderful friends!

  23. My best thanksgiving memory was when I was a little girl. Every single year we would travel to Kentucky to visit my grandparents. My family would rent out a small VFW to use on Thanksgiving day because we had so many relatives. This one year in particular, we had just arrived at the VFW when my grandfather told us that a family in the local Amish Community had experienced a fire in their home the night before. Luckily it did not burn their entire home, just most of their kitchen. So we were offered to go pick the families up and have them share our dinner with us. It was probably the most fun I ever had. It ended up being like an old fashioned thanksgiving. We played board games and enjoyed each others company. It was such a nice day to give thanks for good friends and it felt good to share such a special day with people who have a different kind of culture than we do.

  24. My favorite Thanksgiving memory was from last year! The day before Thanksgiving I was getting married to the love if my life :-) ! Because of that, my parents and one of my brothers had flew in from Brazil for the wedding, it was the first time I spent thanksgiving with the 3 of them! (I’m originally from Brazil and we don’t have thanksging there) I was so happy that day! For dinner we all went to a friend’s house, lots of good food and great people celebrading with us!

  25. Favorite memory of thanksgiving, was the first year my husband decided he was cooking for the family…I woke up to hear my then 3 year old daughter say “Daddy that is a BIG chicken” =) That set the tone for the rest of the day to be fantastic! And yes he did an excellent job, so good in fact he now cooks every year!!

  26. My favorite Thanksgiving memory was my son’s first. We had a bunch of Soldiers over and I cooked this HUGE turkey and made everything myself. I wanted it to be so nice for everyone who couldn’t go ‘home’. Everyone was so appreciative, and even though we were sitting on couches, the coffee table, the floor, and out on the back porch, it was a really great day. The best memories I have are the ones where our “Army Family” has spent it with us.

  27. I have had lots of great Thanksgiving memories; however this year is going to be the absolute best as my husband leaves for basic in the new year so it will be our last Thanksgiving together. I have so many wonderful foods I want to make so sure all of his favorites are on the table. My relatives will also be here to help us celebrate this day of family thanks and gratitude!! :-)

  28. Just visited the Butterball site and I think I am going to make this for Black Friday Supper!!! After a day of shopping Turkey salsa soup and Tropical pumpkin pie sound like they will hit the spot. Yum Yum!!!

  29. My husband and I have never spent a thanksgiving together. :( This year we are looking forward to R&R sometime next month so we will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays all in one so I am looking forward to this being the best holiday season. This is also our sons first thanksgiving :)

  30. I just visited the butterball site and I am going to have to try the chocolate-pumpkin cake with broiled coconut and pecan frosting…yummy

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