After the skunk incident, I found myself left with 3 big-ass 46 ounce cans of tomato juice – the ones that didn’t get poured over the stinky dog. I leafed through the same 1981 Betty Crocker cookbook I’ve had since I first left home, looking for some recipe that requires copious amounts of tomato juice. I only found one, that for making a half-gallon of bloody marys (which don’t sound half bad right now.)

Since I didn’t have any recipe, I went out on a limb and created something I’m calling “Fauxzpacho”, fake gazpacho that isn’t nearly as good. I dumped the whole can of tomato juice in a pitcher, dumped in large amounts of red wine vinegar, some hot sauce, paprika, cayenne pepper and mixed it up. Really, there’s a lot of redundancy in this recipe as hot sauce is basically vinegar and cayenne pepper but what the hell. I just kept dumping stuff in until it got so tangy that I could barely drink it. It tasted about halfway between a thin gazpacho and a spicy V8. I don’t recommend it for everyone, but I kind of liked it. I’ve still got two more giant cans of juice, so I might well be refining this recipe. Perfect for the post-skunk kickback, drinking highly spicy tomato juice and revelling in the fact that the house stinks less than it once stunk.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.