the Long's Strange Trip

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Science, Consciousness, and Shamanism
Medicine, Coincidence, and a Hole in the Head
High Performance Living
Beers We've Had
Travel Challenges
Books We've Read
The Local Price
Horny Communication
Squat Toilets
French Fries for Breakfast
Crime and Punishment
Illicit Practices


Inka Punch

Orange juice
Lime juice
Hot Tea


Pisco Sour   the National Drink of Peru

1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
2.5 oz Pisco (brandy made from white grapes)
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 egg whites
crushed ice

Blend on high until frothy.  Makes approximately 5 drinks.  Rinse, repeat.



3 feet of crushed ayahuasca vine
medium bag of chacruna leaves
5 datura leaves
2 small pods of piri piri

Boil in a large caldron of water for about 10 hours, until liquid is reduced enough to fit into an old pint size whisky bottle.  Drink in darkness.  Serves 5 adults.  Do not drive or operate heavy machinery.


Quinoa Pancakes  Field of quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is a high-protein grain cultivated by the Incas and still grown throughout the Andes highlands today.  Peruvians use in in many delicious dishes, including soups.  Here's a recipe we got in our Spanish class.

Makes 10 pancakes

1 cup toasted quinoa
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup of water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon oil
Fresh or dried fruit, to taste, chopped

Mix ingredients in order given.  Spoon batter into a greased, hot skillet.  Turn once when bubbles form in up-side.


A drink as lively as nights in Madrid!  This one is from the El Rincon de la Havana bar.

3 - 4 stalks fresh mint
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ounce soda water
dash of Angostura bitters
2 ounces white rum, preferably Cuban (Havana Club)

Muddle together mint, lime juice, and sugar in a tall, thin glass until sugar is dissolved.  Fill glass with ice cubes, then add rum, soda water, and a dash of bitters.  Garnish with a slice of fresh lime.

Moroccan Mint Tea

Here's another drink which uses fresh mint, but this one's non-alcoholic.  Moroccans jokingly call this "Moroccan Whiskey", because there's very little alcohol in this Muslim country.

1 1/2 teaspoon green tea
sprigs of fresh green mint
lump sugar to taste

Use a heated teapot.  Pour a little boiling water over the green tea in the pot to begin the infusion.  Add the fresh mint and the lump sugar and another liter of boiling water.  Allow to infuse for at least 5 minutes.  Serve to friends in congenial surroundings.

Egyptian Turkish Coffee

Maybe Turkish Coffee in Turkey is the same, we don't know yet.  But this stuff is pretty good, made with coffee ground to a powder, and flavored with cardamom.  Add some sugar, boil it up, and drink it down, but leave the last bit as it is a thick sediment.

Turkish Coffee

Most of Turkey, unbelievably, drinks Nescafe.  Turkish Turkish Coffee and Egyptian Turkish Coffee taste somewhat the same, but the Turkish stuff has a finer grind and seems to taste less bitter.  

2 teaspoons finely (powdery) ground coffee for every 2 people being served
2 teaspoons sugar for every 2 people being served, for medium-sweet coffee
1 demitasse cup of cold water for every 1 person being served

In a small pan bring the ingredients to a boil.  Remove the pan from the heat, scoop off the foam from the top of the mixture, and place a small amount of foam in each cup.  This is very important in Turkey, as a hostesses' coffee is judged by the foam on top.  If a woman is serving coffee to her prospective in-laws and there is no foam on top, the marriage could be in trouble.  Return the pan to the heat, boil again, and then divide the coffee evenly among the cups.  

Eggplant Kebab

1 kilo ground lamb (remember your metrics: 1 kilo = 2.2 lbs)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbls tomato paste
crushed red pepper to taste
8 eggplants
8 fresh tomatoes, quartered
4 fresh hot peppers, quartered

Mix lamb with salt, pepper, tomato paste and red pepper.  Slice each eggplant into 4 or 5 uniform chunks.  Alternate chunks of eggplant on skewer with golf ball sized balls of lamb, tomatoes and peppers.  Grill over hot coals until eggplants are soft and lamb is done.  Serve with fresh bread.

Vegetable Momo

Momo is a Tibetan dish that the Nepalis have embraced wholeheartedly.  They are little dumplings similar to pot stickers, although you also seem them offered fried on menus. 

Mixed, finely diced vegetables (cauliflower, spinach, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, etc., a quarter cup of each)
One large bunch of spring onions or three onions, diced
Two bunches of fresh parsley or cilantro, or one of each
Half a kilo brown or white flour
One teaspoon baking powder
Two teaspoons salt
Spices according to tast (pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, for example)

First prepare the dough by sifting the flour with the baking powder, adding water gradually.  It should be fairly stiff, but still elastic, with the consistency of pasta dough.  Cover with a damp kitchen cloth.

Chop spring onions finely and mix with the finely-diced vegetables, which have been mixed with the spices.

Roll out ping-pong ball sized balls of dough and fill with a spoonful of the vegetable mixture, forming it into different shapes, either round or crescent-shaped.  Be sure they are fastened well, using some water so the mixture will not leak out while steaming.

Using a layered bamboo steamer, steam for 15 minutes.  Alternatively, you can boil them in vegetable broth, producing a soup in the process.  Test one momo for doneness, and serve hot.


Chang is the official homebrew of Nepal.  If you've got bucket, you can make chang.  It has a slightly sweet-n-sour taste.  (This recipe copied from Lonely Planet Nepal)

Get a 25 or 50 liter fermenting vessel from a brewery supply shop.  For the small vessel boil about 2 kilos of millet for several hours.  Millet swells considerably, so make sure there is plenty of water and it doesn't stick.  When it cools, stick it in the fermenting vessel and fill it with water. (You can pass the millet through a blender to smooth it out first, if desired.)  Then add burgundy yeast and the juice of a lemon and leave it to ferment.  This can take several weeks or a couple of months, depending on taste.  If you like a little extra kick to your chang add sugar, a kilo or two, to the fermenting brew - this is really cheating since in Nepal sugar would be too expensive to be used this way.

The final product will have to be strained through a cloth and racked to removed the yeasty taste. 

Tom Kha Kai (Coconut and Galanga Chicken Soup)

This recipe is from Lonely Planet, but it's pretty much exactly like the soup we made in our Thai cooking class (I'd give you that recipe, but it got sent home with Wiley's sister).  The only real difference is that in the class we made our coconut milk from scratch by adding hot water to grated coconut and squeezing until we had the desired amount of milk.

3 cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
one 2 cm piece of khaa (galanga, also known as Thai ginger), or substitute Chinese ginger if unavailable
3 stalks takhrai (lemon grass), bottom third only, cut into 7 cm lengths (or substitute three 3 cm strips lemon zests)
1/2 kg boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
3 tbs naam plaa (fish sauce, similar in taste to soy sauce, available at Asian markets)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 Thai chilies, seeds and ribs removed, minced (or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried red chili flakes)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fresh coriander leaves (This is what we typically call cilantro.  In our class, we used the root of the herb as well as the leaves.)

In large pot, combine the coconut milk, chicken stock, ginger and lemon grass.  ring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the chicken and simmer until cooked through - about two or three minutes.  Discard the ginger and lemongrass.  Add the fish sauce, lime juice, chilies and sugar.  Sprinkle coriander leaves on top and serve (serves 6).

Sardine Soup Cooked in a Bamboo Pot

When you live in the jungles of northern Thailand, you usually don't have too much, so you make due with what the land provides you.  When we went trekking in this region, our guide made soup for dinner one night in a "pot" he had fashioned from a long piece of bamboo.  The campfire gave the soup a delicious smoky flavor, but it would probably also be really good at home on your stove.

3 small cans sardines in tomato sauce
4 tablespoons garlic, ground in a pestle
3 pieces lemongrass, white part only, cut in 1 inch pieces
3 kefir lime leaves
1 inch piece galanga or ginger, sliced thin
Thai chillis to taste

Using a piece of bamboo about 3 inches in diameter, cut a section at least 2 feet long.  Hollow the inside at the joints, but leave the last joint intact.  Put first six ingredients into the "pot", then fill to top with water, leaving about 3 inches space for boiling.  Place the bottom of the "pot" in a smoldering campfire, propping up the top with another stick of bamboo so that it's upright.  Simmer until boiling.

Fish Cutlets with Curry Sauce

This recipe is taken from a book Wiley gave me for Christmas, Step-by-Step Indonesian Cooking.

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, sliced thickly
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
8 candlenuts, chopped into 8 pieces each (candlenuts are a nut similar to Brazil nuts)
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup water
4 fish cutlets
2 spring onions, chopped

Heat oil in frying pan; add onion, stir-fry until tender.  Add ginger candlenuts, and curry powder, stir-fry over low heat for 3 minutes.  

Add soy sauce, lemon juice, and water, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add fish cutlets in single layer.  Cover, simmer 5 minutes on each side or until just cooked through.  Sprinkle with chopped spring onions.

Here's an interesting note about Indonesian cooks.  We've looked in four or five different stores, and we can't find a can opener.  Our house doesn't have one, and the stores sell some canned goods, but apparently they are there for the tourists.  Even when we finally found one at the hotel, no one knew how to use it!  It seems that Indonesians cook with fresh ingredients and don't use canned foods.


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