Credit: Kysha Harris photo

Wow…spring…spring? As most of us have done since the beginning of this pandemic, I often think back to what I was doing one year ago to the day. Thanks to my work here I can just look back in the archives to March 26, 2020 and the first sentence captures it all: “I am at a loss of words this week…this all just feels surreal to me. I know we, as a collective newspaper, are sending love and prayers to our community and beyond.”

That March 26, 2020 piece went on to talk about the work Marcus Samuelsson had begun with Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen by feeding our frontline workers and the food insecure through support to Harlem restaurants. Though not at the front of the news cycle much anymore, this work continues to be important to address all of the inequities that have surfaced at this time.

In a pre-COVID world during this time of year, I would be waxing on about spring—cleaning, produce, recipes—and all of the feelings that go along with that. So just like I am no longer mean-mugging people for not wearing a mask, I am going to turn this page and move forward by resuming my joy for the season.

(page turns…)

Spring has sprung y’all! Let’s get it tight and right before we get into spring holidays, spring produce and all of the crazy good spring recipes. Here is the updated quick-n-dirty for getting the kitchen in tip top shape:

Purge your refrigerator and freezer of expired items. Starting with the fridge, remove all items to a clean sink and countertop discarding moldy or expired items. Pull out any removable parts (crisper drawer, shelves) to wash and dry them and, with a non-toxic/food-safe cleaning product, wipe down the inside of the empty space. Work quickly with your freezer, but take care to clean it well and discard freezer-burned items. Keep a bowl with warm water and some of that food safe cleaning product and a cloth to wipe down the items you are returning to the space.

Renew your spice rack by replacing infrequently used spices with a fresh jar, especially the ground varieties. For the rest of your pantry use a FIFO system (First In First Out), using the oldest items first by putting them in the front for easy identification and access.

Discard and/or replace any damaged/non-functioning cooking utensils, tools and machines. Then…go shopping! Invest in good products. One great pan is better than a set of cheap ones. Quality over price means longevity and true savings in the long run.

Now you are ready for the business and the new, and growing, AmNewsFOOD team are going to give it to you! Get into it!

Happy eating, stay safe, wear a mask 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 18 years. She is the new Food Editor at www.TheSpruceEats.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPnyc, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc.

Questions, comments, requests, feedback, invitations! Email us at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD