The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

Daily Prompt: Thanksgiving Feast

Food, glorious food! Don't care what it looks like --Burned! Underdone! Crude! Don't care what the cook's like. Just thinking of growing fat --Our senses go reeling One moment of knowing that Full-up feeling!(Read more: OLIVER - FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD LYRICS)

Oh, sorry {wipes saliva from slack jaw}. Blame it on the wonderful folks over at's Daily Post. The prompt today is

Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten, in glorious detail. 

From this, I was immediately reminded of the lyrics above. But back to the prompt; while below I describe a Thanksgiving meal, it is not one but a conglomeration of years of family gatherings at that most US-American of holidays. While now our Thanksgivings are spent in slightly different and less foodly-flamboyant ways, this is how my time-ravaged mind recalls those days...

Walking into the house the day before is like walking into a five-star restaurant, bakery, and winery all rolled into one: the table has been set already and seems ready to buckle under the strain of fine antique china plates, bowls, and serving trays; cut glass goblets have been washed and shined to diamond-perfection; all the real silverware has been polished and mirror-shined; the turkey and ham are cooking; the rolls are baking; the pies, cakes, and cookies are cooling; the clothesline is full with freshly-washed linens, including table cloths and napkins; the homemade wine vats are uncovered and the contents are being poured into the jugs in time for the festivities to come. The odors are beyond exquisite: nothing but the best is prepared for this day of thanks, when the family will gather for the one and only time of year as a whole and act civilly to one another. No margarine or Parkay today--only butter will do: everything glistens with it, and every artery within a one-mile radius throbs in anticipation. And then the day itself and the appointed hour arrives. Late the night before, all the cleaned and polished items had been moved and the starched and pressed linens placed just so: We gather over the steaming serving trays, now resting there; our noses twitch and our mouths water all through the agonizingly long blessing of the food. We sit and begin passing item after item--sliced turkey, homemade mashed potatoes, thin slabs of baked ham, homemade stuffing (the kind that Stovetop tries to look like: the bread that was carefully left out to stale, was ripped into careful squares and combined with hunks of celery, sharp cheese, seasonings, turkey drippings, and other mystery left-overs only the old women know), cranberry sauce, green beans from the garden, collard greens, puffy rolls, asparagus, gooey macaroni and cheese, giblet gravy...every morsel melts between grateful butter-shiny lips. And long-past full, we dive into the cakes and pies while the men secretly undo the top buttons on their Sunday pants and the women slip into bathrooms or bedrooms to loosen girdle strappings by one loop. And finally, for toppers, everyone lifts a small glass of homemade wine to toast the bountiful blessing, the joy of togetherness, and in anticipation of the next time.  

Weekly Photo Challenge: "Forward" and Beyond February