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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Boss Warlock's Really Stinky, Burn-Your-Butt, Half-Moon Baby Turnip Kimchi



If the witch-hunters are to be believed (!), when we're not eating babies at our Sabbats, we're busy relishing food that's half-rotten and stinks instead.

Just goes to show that even witch-hunters can get something right every now and then.

Even the part about the babies.


Boss Warlock's Really Stinky Half-Moon Baby Turnip Kimchi


1 lb. baby turnips

4½ teaspoons salt

2-3 teaspoons crushed red pepper

10-12 minced scallions

10-12 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sugar


Top and tail turnips. (There's no need to skin them; that's the advantage of using baby turnips.) Cut each turnip in half; slice each half into thin half-moons.

Toss the turnip slices with 3 teaspoons of salt. Turn out into a bowl, cover, and allow to drain overnight.

Next day, drain the turnips—the salt will have drawn a substantial amount of liquid—and rinse well. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, including the remaining 1½ teaspoons of salt, and turn out into a quart jar. (Use one with a plastic lid. Seriously, this stuff will eat its way through metal. No, I am not kidding here.) Add water until the turnips are covered.

Cover the jar loosely, and let it ripen, unrefrigerated, for 6 to 8 days. When it's sour enough to suit you, cover and refrigerate.


If you start now, you can have a batch ready by Lúnasa: just the thing to take the gamey edge off that yummy, but oh-so-rich, enfant rôti.




For M.G. and M.S.

With thanks for the turnips








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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.


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