Not a day goes by without extreme gratitude to frontline and essential workers helping to keep us sane, productive, “normal” and, dare I say, alive. Blessings on blessings to you and your families. Thank you.

I hope you all enjoyed our first quarantined Memorial Day Weekend. I am sure some of you gathered in small doses (I hope) with single serve snacks and beverages and such. I am also sure food was not the objective, rather the joy, the relief, the spirit of being together. Cheers to you…all of you!

In the interest of full journalistic disclosure, I am writing this before the weekend so the Amsterdam News staff could enjoy their holiday as well. My editor Kristin, our publisher Elinor, and the dedicated team of people committed to delivering impactful and relevant news and information on a weekly basis are exceptional. Over 100 years strong and the oldest Black newspaper in the country, the New York Amsterdam News is essential to our community.

So, we have a tentative “reopen” date of June 13. I am told it should be written in pencil only in case we do not hit the seven markers outlined by the state. I will take it. I miss cooking for my clients, also known as work, my passion. Though I have been turning out some fun videos from my small home kitchen, I will begin my reemergence plan.

I spent the holiday weekend on a 50th socially distant four-day birthday tour in the Tri State area. I mean, you only turn 50 once, right, and I was not going to let a pandemic stop me from celebrating with the people who helped and supported me through my life…outside, with masks, six feet away.

The tour began in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan on Friday from Bushwick to the LES. Saturday was for my Jersey peeps and my sister from Princeton to Englewood. Sunday, I headed to the end of Long Island to check my girls sheltered in place then to my brother and my Queens friends.

Monday, the big 5-0, I had to start with my college bestie in Westchester, then to the BX for the second niece and my “twin” friends (Joan and Wendy, who share the same birthday). Finally, back to the place where it all began on May 25, 1970, my beautiful village of Harlem for mom-love, first niece and countless friends and neighbors.

If this quarantine has taught me anything outside of taking care of the people you love, it is to always find the joy and celebrate your unique self. You are enough, right now, right in this moment. Peace.

Stay safe, wear a mask, eat well and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for over 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!