Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Nectar of the Gods

Woe, I cry, woe: five long years, and never a good tomato.

Either it got too hot, and the tomatoes languished.

Or it didn't get hot enough, and they never ripened.

We didn't have enough rain, and so they were tough-skinned and bitter.

Or we had too much rain, and they swelled up obese and flavorless, red water balloons.

Oh, but this year: this year the gods have been good.

Earth and Your two boon husbands, Sun and Thunder: thank You, thank You All.

Firm, sweet, kissed by the Sun: at every meal tomatoes, and you never get tired of them.

Glory to the gift of the Aztecs, best of Nightshades! But in every good tomato year, you always reach glut: the point at which they're coming in so fast that you can't keep up, no matter how many you eat.

That means that it's time for the Nectar of the Gods.

Wash the tomatoes and quarter them. Fill a pan, cover, and cook over medium heat—stirring periodically—until they fall apart.

Then run them through the food mill, chill, and voilà: apotheosis.

If you like tomato juice, you'll taste it and say: A revelation! Of this, commercial tomato juice is naught but a pale reflection.

If you don't, you'll taste it and say: What divine, exotic fruit is this, from the Garden of Gods?

This is what the apricot, the papaya, the mango would be, if they could.

Dark yet bright, meaty but sweet: O my people, prepare yourselves for immortality.

Come, O come, and taste the drink that makes the gods undying.

Hail essence of tomato: nectar of the gods!




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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza Friday, 17 August 2018

    Need someone to unload tomatoes on? ;)

    Tomato toast for breakfast now. Just sayin '.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Friday, 17 August 2018

    Stand aside, avocado toast.
    You're hopelessly outclassed.

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