My thank you this week continues to go to frontline and essential workers. Your work is never-ending and some of us are not making your jobs any easier. You remain appreciated.

I send a heartfelt thank you to Governor Cuomo for standing up and fighting for our state. It is not easy to be in your shoes, but I appreciate you putting them on every day, come what may.

With all of this madness going on in our city and the relentless stress put upon us, I relish any moment to get in my car and go somewhere…anywhere. On top of that, if I can lay my head down for one or more days, have some outdoor space, see green and copious vistas of nature, I am IN!

My good friend and former neighbor, Dr. Carl, invited me out to his home in PA. After a failed weekend due to tropical storm Fay, the next weekend, I packed up my fur-sons and we set out for the weekend.

This visit was the first time driving to Carl’s…and I love me some driving. The ride started off gloomy, but as if guiding me out of doom, the heavens opened up to sunshine and relief once I crossed the border (deep exhale).

We pulled into Dr. Carl’s lake front property and settled in with all my crazy pet parent trappings. Carl and I both had some work to do before we could get down to reconnecting over his highly anticipated and proposed weekend menu with flavors of his vast world travels.

Happy hour arrives and Dr. Carl emerges from his office to the helm of his well-stocked wet bar replete with everything you might see behind a professional bar. Carl gives you the ENTIRE moment with a vast knowledge of spirits and cocktails and the recipe for the cocktail he will soon put before you.

Dr. Carl served up his version of a frozen spicy margarita with tequila, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, agave and a splash of orange liqueur. His partner, Rick, and I did not complain one bit. It was a bright, balanced and refreshing way to start the evening.

We soon moved to the table to partake in Dr. Carl’s masterpiece. Since Friday is their pasta night, he blessed us with slow cooked chorizo bolognese over handmade harissa fettucini. “Are you not entertained?!” Topped with a little parmesan (Carl would have preferred manchego) and served with a Harlem-bought baguette and a lush 2017 California fruit-forward GSM (Grenach-Syrah-Mourvedre) called Cimarron from Vigilance, this meal was the perfect way to enter a needed weekend.

…and this was just the first three hours of my weekend reprieve. There is more hospitality to share next week. Thank you, Dr. Carl!

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!