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Preparation Without a Blender
Cacti - T. pachanoi
Citation:   equivocaltheory. "Preparation Without a Blender: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi (exp87352)". Erowid.org. Jun 13, 2018. erowid.org/exp/87352

16 in oral Cacti - T. pachanoi (tea)
San Pedro Preparation (Without a Blender)

I wanted to share this alternate preparation of 'San Pedro' cactus (echinopsis pachanoi) with you all. I did quite a lot of reading of different preparation techniques and found that the most highly recommended was either an alkaloid extraction, which with my only basic understanding of chemistry was a little intimidating and mjshroomer's 'Chimora' recipe involving blending, boiling and then straining the cactus. The only problem I had with the latter was that I do not own a blender and don't really need one a pricey buy for a singular experience that I was not sure I would repeat. So, I experimented a little and had a very successful adventure indeed.

1. Wash the San Pedro cactus to remove any dirt or debris.

2. Depending on the method - Slice the cactus into approx 1cm (0.4 inches) slices and place in a vegetable (onion) dicer or simply cut the cactus into as small pieces as possible. I employed the onion dicer as it cut down considerable on mess and wastage and cut the pieces as is with skin and spines. If I were to dice them by hand I may want to remove the spines for safety. Vegetable dicers come in many names and types depending on your location but are relatively inexpensive and can be used for a killer ratatouille. They are basically a long plastic device with a plastic bowl at the bottom and a blade which cuts the vegetables by pressing down or spinning and traps the chopped vegetables in the bottom. The key here really is to chop or dice the pieces into the smallest pieces possible. My pieces varied but were approx 0.3cm (0.1 inches).

3. Unlike the blender method, I essentially put small pieces of cactus into a pot and slowly cooked it and not a 'goo' . The best analogy I could use is making a capsicum (sweet pepper) soup. I used the largest pot I had, which would contain about 10 litres of water, which in the blender method would be appropriate for containing the 'foam' derived from the blended mixture but for this preparation would be wholly unnecessary. I used 1 cup of water for each cup of chopped cactus. So, this preparation only needed a pot to contain approx. six cups of mixture (3 cactus + 3 water) although I would use a pot larger than that to contain the boiling or simmering mixture. I washed all my utensils over the pot with the three cups of water I intended to use as not to waste any remnants or pieces left.

4. Placed the cactus and water in the pot and put on the lid. Brought the mixture to the boil and then left to simmer on the lowest heat possible. I checked the mixture every 20-30mins and stirred to check that the mixture wasn't boiling dry. After the first hour I realised that with the lid on and on a low simmer it would be fine so I left it for another hour. (Two hours of cooking at this point). I cook a lot and felt confident about leaving it. I kept the temperature down as low as possible. If I were cooking on an electric stove or a campfire I would want to check more frequently as this is much harder to regulate than gas.

5. After two hours of simmering, I was feeling impatient so turned the mixture off and put it through fabric like in mjshroomer's preparation guide (in this case an old but clean piece of cheesecloth). The liquid mixture was certainly green and goop-like but I noticed quite a lot of green fleshy remains on the skin after squeezing it out and opening up the fabric. As the pieces were larger than blended pieces I realised this preparation may need a slightly different approach. So I put all the pieces back in the water, added another cup of water and turned the heat up to medium and lightly boiled the mixture for another half an hour. Cooking times are going to vary depending on the size of the pieces and quite possibly the mixture could have been cooked longer. The key is, I tried to cook it long enough so that the most possible flesh was cooked 'away' from the skin. Whilst it was boiling I kept an almost constant eye on it but another hour of simmering left alone may work just as well.

6. Once I could see a lot more transparent skin floating around in the water and the mixture has considerably darkened, I turned it off again. (Total cooking time 2 hours.) As there was still a bit of green flesh on the skin I decided to put the mixture through a metal 'sieve' instead of fabric as to squeeze as much green flesh out through the holes. I could use any kind of fine metal mesh strainer, tea strainer or even a larger bowl-like flower sifter. Anything which is fine enough to let liquid pass through and keep larger pieces in. I pushed the skin and flesh mixture thoroughly around the strainer with a spoon, pushing out as much liquid and 'goo' as possible, even scraping the goo from the outside that was trapped in the mesh. All that was left from my original cactus was skin, spines (now quite soft and probably harmless to ingest one or two) and about 5% of the green flesh.

7. In the pot was now about 3 cups of liquid, having reduced by more than half since the beginning of the process. It was quite runny and dark green. As I didn't want to ingest all of that, I boiled it down carefully with the lid off and it reduced to about 1 cups enough to fit into a coffee mug.

Although an experienced psychonaut, this was my first 'San Pedro' experience. I added an additional 30% to the generally recommended medium dosage in the amount that I used (in raw cactus weight) and I am quite a small female (55kg or 120lbs). This method above used 40cm (or 1.3 feet) of cactus with a radius of approx. 2 inches. This lead to an eight hour, visually amazing, intense experience.

ALSO: I bought some ginger and boiled up a large pot of my favourite tea (damiana is great) with honey and ginger before I drank the San Pedro. This helped immensely with nausea and helped with the actual drinking of the tea (alternating sips from the two over 15-30mins). As the skin was boiled in this mixture it may have contributed to greater nausea, but I experienced three bouts of mild-medium nausea in the second-third hour after ingestion and the tea was an absolute success. The nausea lasted approx.10 min each time and then after sipping the tea simply faded away.

Exp Year: 2010ExpID: 87352
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: 24
Published: Jun 13, 2018Views: 2,454
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Cacti - T. pachanoi (64) : Preparation / Recipes (30), Unknown Context (20)

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