Thank you.

Now that the celebration of our country’s independence is behind us, we can continue on our pursuits of returning to a new normal. I continue to vacillate on exactly what that might be while trying to quell the stirring cauldron of feelings and emotions I have inside. That voice is still evolving.

I continue to struggle finding relevance for my work on this page during these times, though we must eat, restaurants are open, and in general the food world continues to spin. Talking SCHOP! has always been a place where I can write anecdotally about my life in food and observations of food for your takeaway. So, I shan’t shy away from a recent experience where food was both my nemesis and my salve.

Two weeks ago, post cooking for a client, I picked up my niece to drive her home. We decided to stop and get a sweet treat on the way. Since, ironically, we could not find a Mister Softee truck, for which I was craving, we landed at our favorite cream puff maker, Beard Papa on Broadway. We each got a couple of what was available at the end of the day.

Now, Beard Papa did not look like it did in its heyday when one could see the choux pastry puffs being made and filled with delectable house-made vanilla custard. Instead, it is now a counter with a cold box for the glazed/topped unfilled puffs blocking the filling action behind it. This did not give me the same food excitement and anticipation of previous experiences. In hindsight, I should have trusted these feelings.

My niece and I went straight back to the car, opened up the box and went at it. We were both disappointed with this experience. The shells were a little stale, which is slightly forgivable given the time of day (though Beard Papa should be offering half price after a certain hour, as most bakeries in the city do), and the custard a little runny…too runny.

My niece and I made it home and through the evening, but that night and for the next three days my body rejected and expelled my entire stomach and intestinal tract…violently! I knew the culprit, as the only other thing I ate that day was food I prepared for my client for which they, thankfully, did not suffer my fate. It was that runny custard, most likely not kept at a safe temperature.

After some research, I let the expulsion run its course for a couple of days to rid my body of the bacteria, but I discovered that gastrointestinal issues are a coronavirus symptom in these times. On the third day I went to get tested, picked up some intestinal meds and electrolyte replacement water, and ordered recommended BRAT foods—bananas, rice, applesauce and toast (bread)—plus other bland foods.

A week later, I was fully recovered and tested negative for COVID-19. Perhaps a silver lining? I will take the victory.

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!