Sunday, December 21st, 2014

This morning took an unexpected turn when I woke up and while lazily checking the facebooks and instagrams, discovered that today was the last day Phumplings would be at Shwick Market, a pop-up holiday shop in Bushwick. I had been longing for the soup dumplings filled with pho since I’d stumbled upon them in my interneting a couple months ago.

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So it was that I jumped out of bed, into a shower, and out into the cold within an hour to get my ass to Bushwick. And it was dramatically  cold today. One might even say grimly so.

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I took the M to Myrte and was delighted to discover a new graffiti spot! I gather its been collected as @JMZWalls.

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From there, i just had to follow the signs…

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Shwick Market was considerably smaller than I had expected, with only 15-20 vendors tightly packed in a garage space. But it had charm (which can be found on good display in their instagram). I beelined for the Phumplings booth.

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I am delighted to say that that little pocket of deliciousness was absolutely worth $3, braving the cold for over an hour, traveling to bushwick, and spilling dumpling juice all over my coat. Hashtag no regrets.

Wanting to get home, I didn’t stick around. But I did spot a few more nice street art specimens.

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On my journey back I determined to make one of my family’s traditional christmas dishes: Jesus Muffins. While we do a big traditional leg of lamb feast on Christmas Eve, we save something special for Christmas Day. Jesus Muffins are also known as French Breakfast Puffs; or the best goddamn muffins rolled in sugar and cinnamon ever. Every Christmas morning in memory, my family has woken up, opened presents, and eventually settled at the table to put candles in muffins and sing Happy Birthday. I wanted to make a batch early to share this bit of christmas cheer with my friends and roommates.

Jesus Muffins (French Breakfast Puffs)

1/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking power

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Cream shorting; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. add egg, and mix well.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Spoon batter in greased muffin pans, filling two thirds full. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; stir well. Remove muffins from pans while still warm; roll each in melted butter, and then in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Cool. Yield: about 1 dozen.

(Note: My one edit to this recipe is to say that I usually need at least another 1/2 cup of milk to make the consistency right. )

And now for some progress pics:

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Awwwww yeaaaaah.

Can’t live off dumplings and sugar muffins though, so I eventually met A at Raizes in Greenpoint. It’s a Portuguese churrascaria place that I’ve been eyeing for over a year. The interior is pretty lovely and they were in full festive mode:

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Normally, and with better lighting, it looks like this:

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We both ordered the Rodizio Portuguese Style, a pretty grand selection of meats brought out on skewers: chicken, turkey wrapped in bacon, chorizo, lamb, and 3 different cuts of steak. It also came with a salad, olives + bread, rice, beans, and mashed potatoes or fries. It was admittedly rather excessive, but definitely delicious.

As I walked home, I ran into one of my roommates and convinced him to take a quick jaunt down the block with me to look at christmas lights.

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Morgan street be festive as fuck. P and I even managed to have two pleasant encounters with passing neighbors whilst out on our light tour which basically proves the christmas spirit is still alive and well.

A day as busy as this calls for a chill night. Which, in this instance, means Lord of the Rings. Because it’s pretty.

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– L

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