~ Totally Undeserving of the James Beard Award

~ Completely Undeserving of the James Beard Award ~

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

From the Outer Reaches of Burma...


In my ever continuing search for unique and interesting foods to bring to you, I spare no effort. My next posts will include my notes and photos from recent exploratory trips to the far corners of the world...to seek new and interesting recipes.

For your reading enjoyment, please play my radio for background music.

First up is the Lost Delta Region...the Irrawaddy River! 

These sorts of trips require a certain about of pre-planning and careful packing. I need to travel light yet ensure I possess all the necessaries and criticals.

I located a catalog which contained adventure ready articles of clothing and the like. I perused the pages for the right mix of essentials.

A few books for those long spans of slow river travel, one by a new author, Ernie something-or-other...probably won't amount to much...and a handbook of sorts in case I run into situations I have not encountered on previous trips.


It was an arduous trip just finding and getting to the river safari company...but because of the signage I was able to translate, I knew I was getting close.

I had some extra time so I grabbed a bite to eat at a local establishment...

 ...which also had a floor show by the local natives. (side note: when I returned from my trip I discovered this place has since closed. I understand some Arabian fellow runs the joint now, but strangely he doesn't offer food, he just stands there and tourists take photos of him)


I picked up a few last minute provisions from a trader.

(Photo by Michaela Hansen; www.toursdepartingdaily.com)

I secured travel aboard a tramp steamer at the River Expedition Company, I relaxed in the line queue,... er....waiting area. A sign was overhead which stated they do not allow cutting in line here..anyone caught with a pair of scissors will be asked to leave.

(Photo by Matthew Hansen; www.toursdepartingdaily.com)
I was asked not to take pictures while you are in the waiting area; They are nailed to the walls for a reason.

(Photo by Michaela Hansen; www.toursdepartingdaily.com)
I didn't take any pictures, however I did snap a few photos...here, my gear is standing at the ready.


I set up a chess board in case I found a willing competitor.

(Photo by Michaela Hansen; www.toursdepartingdaily.com)
In order to reach our first destination...base camp...we headed out in the evening. The "Irriwaddy Woman" was loaded and we were on our way. The skipper explained those of you sitting in the back are going to get a charge out of this trip as they were sitting on the battery. Some people find that revolting, but I think that there is a positive and negative side to everything. Shocking, isn't it.

Morning found us deep in the jungle, past ruins, temples and statues. Crocodiles are numerous in this region The skipper said the crocs are always looking for a hand out. He said he once had an English teacher on board and she didn’t listen to him and now she’s teaching shorthand.

(Photo by Michaela Hansen; www.toursdepartingdaily.com)

This photo shows concrete evidence that large primates are in these parts.


When we arrived at base camp we discovered others have taken over our spot and were monkeying around with everything. I have heard the local natives were having double starting that jeep...seems these guys were able to get it turned over. We had no choice but to continue on...


Here, we came up on natives...I was able to translate their song...

"First you put your right foot in...then you put your right foot out"

Our skipper recommended staying the night here. 

The chief was gracious enough to offer dinner for us...some sort of fowl cooked on a stick which he called "Chieftain Skewer" (imagine that!). I was able to decipher how it was made:

Local bird meat (at home you can substitute meat from a local bird), cut into strips.
4 Whole Cloves
1 T. Red Wine Vinegar
1 c. Ketchup
½ c. Crushed Pineapple
½ c. Pineapple Juice
½ c. Brown Sugar
½ c. Soy Sauce
¼ c. Orange Juice Concentrate
3 T. Water

Simmer cloves in vinegar for 5-10 minutes. Discard cloves and add other ingredients. Marinate fowl overnight in sauce.

Remove fowl from sauce and thread fowl onto a skewer (if you soak the skewer for a few hours in water, it will keep it from burning). Save sauce. Grill on your BBQ or bake in the oven until done. 

Bring reserved sauce to a boil and brush sauce onto cooked meat and serve. Garnish with green onion.

Tune in soon for another post as tomorrow we will entering the most dangerous part of our journey, head hunter country!...it's a bad place to...be-headed.

Photos from davelandweb.com/junglecruise/ and toursdepartingdaily.com/ and disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/jungle-cruise/

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