Last weekend I accidentally got really drunk. It was the night of the Den Haag gig, which I would otherwise generally call a success: engaging music; pleasant, friendly people; etc...


Of paramount importance on these evenings is maintaining an Ever-Watchful Eye wrt one's alcohol/cannabis intake. Lots of time sitting around + pre-gig nerves + post-gig revelry = occasionally results in a Perfect Storm situation for people like the VDuck.

Nonetheless, by the time we piled into the car to head back to Amsterdam, the overall mood of my blood/brain chemistry was hovering somewhere in the "Lucid Yet Peaceful" range. If only I'd somehow managed to be transported safely from the car into my warm and waiting apartment without having to pass through the especially festive scene in the bar downstairs...


As you may know, we live above a bar and music venue. Many evenings I come and go via the back courtyard so that I can avoid being sucked into a potentially damaging Social Vortex downstairs, but this night I had my tremendously heavy suitcase of guitar shit with me and navigating it through the backyard would have seemed like some kind of unpleasant army boot camp exercise. Oh, right, it was snowing, too.

The biggest problem with coming home late and entering through the front door is that the people with whom I'm mostly likely to Socially Engage are the sound crew. And by and large, they don't start drinking until after the show is over, which is around 12 or 1. And in my experience most sound technicians prefer oude jenever.

So if you, as a musician, have been doing a show somewhere else for the last 7 hours, all the while carefully balancing your alcohol intake so as to achieve maximum suppleness, and you return home to find a multi-band rock show in your basement, in the midst of which a friendly sound technician stops you for "just one drink", beware: they will be thirstier than you are, and may not be sensitive to the, well, liquidity of your condition, and they may keep buying you drinks until you are In Trouble.


I told that story to explain why I'm making lamb enchiladas today. The Morning After my visit to the social vortex, I felt, um...like complete shit. I mean bad. Like not wanting to look at yourself in the mirror bad, no way can I have a cup of coffee bad, why the fuck don't I have a bathtub and a portable radio to accidentally drop into it bad.

In times of strife, we turn to those things that soothe us. I decided that day that I would try to therapeutically make a therapeutically spicy lamb stew to repair or at least therapeutically numb my injured body. I somehow made it out the door and picked up some lamb shoulder and some red wine (possible foreshadowing here), came home, and set about trying to make a stew.


I'm not really sure what happened, but if we fast forward to a few hours later, we find me being nauseated beyond belief by the smell of this stew. I can't recall this ever happening to me before, or at least not in many years. I can't bear to be in the apartment with this smell, and it is everywhere. So, to distract myself from this unpleasantness, I of course had some red wine.

Before darkness descended both literally and figuratively over the whole operation, I managed to freeze the stew, thinking that I'd magically transform it into something good after my own Powers of Good had returned. And then I went out and DJed for a while at a nice new gallery in the Oost using only my trusty MP3 player and my spunky American ingenuity (FYI, they'd invited me...I didn't just show up and start playing).


The lamb was haunting me though. Every time I thought about it this week, I couldn't get that smell out of my head. I'm still shuddering just thinking about it now.

And then last night I decided to face my fears. I decided that I had to see if it was really that bad, and if it was, throw it away. It was like The Tell-Tale Black Cat of the House of Usher. Except with lamb.

And in the end, of course: the lamb was fine. Good, even. The smell I remembered was nowhere to be found, Thank the Lord Above. I was really apprehensive about even taking the lid off the container. And it is therapeutically spicy, thanks to a heartier-than-usual dose of chipotles. So I drained off the liquid and used it as the base of a molé rojo with some lamb-ier touches: peanuts instead of almonds, a little extra marjoram and oregano, etc. The result of all this will be some smoky lamb enchiladas with a little goat cheese inside and some mint and scallions on top.

This morning's bonus was an egg inside a corn tortilla with a healthy splash of molé rojo (see above and below).

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