Talking SCHOP! Alone together

KYSHA HARRIS Food Editor, @SCHOPgirl | 4/23/2020, midnight
Thank you to all of our doctors, nurses, healthcare and essential workers who are putting their lives on the line ...
Alone Together-The day's bounty: Bajan cuisine Kysha Harris photos

Thank you to all of our doctors, nurses, healthcare and essential workers who are putting their lives on the line for us. We continue to hold you up.

This week, we are three months into this pandemic. Breathe. This ain’t easy. Doing our part which now includes WEARING A MASK (a mandate from the governor!) is certainly not easy. Most times it feels frustrating, isolating and the biggest challenge to our human nature. Breathe.

I have been cooking as a means of normalcy and self-compassion, but the core of who I am as someone in food is missing: cooking for other people, be they clients, friends or family. To this end, I understand and appreciate all the good work Harlem restaurants and chefs are doing to help feed the food insecure, homebound elderly and others. They are doing what, ironically, feeds their spirit. Thank you.

Until I am able to return to cook for my clients, I feel like I am missing part of my purpose. So, I was so happy my Barbados friend, Faye, agreed to go live with me on Instagram to make a Bajan inspired Sunday supper together.

It began weeks ago when Faye got inspired by my brined and roasted chicken. She then posted her jerk version. It gave me all the good memories of being in Barbados last year for my cousin’s birthday. After seeing so many Instagram Live feeds of cooking, I thought why not me and Faye? And so, it began.

I brined a whole chicken for three days and then marinated it in some delish Bajan seasoning I brought back from my trip. Faye also had a chicken marinating in a Bajan dry rub. We had our anchor.

Now we needed some side dishes. Turns out Faye and I both had a head of red cabbage, and some rice dish would round out the meal. I requested she make pelau (a Caribbean rice dish) and I would make my aromatic rice I make often for my clients. Now the menu was officially set. We invited all of our friends and family to watch.

As soon as Faye and I went live, it was like there was no space between us. We laughed, chatted, shared stories, cooked and imbibed with our friends and family from the islands up the eastern seaboard.

Final menu: Faye’s pelau of chicken and rice (the burnt sugar lesson was great) and coleslaw because, according to Faye, you cannot have pelau without coleslaw. My brined, marinated and roasted Bajan chicken, aromatic rice and beans, and red cabbage two ways, German style coleslaw (no mayo) and braised in butter and vinegar.

Faye and I will definitely be doing it again. Thank you for the welcomed sisterhood and friendship.

Stay safe, 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, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!