Easy Living

I was putting together a video last night for a project with possible Single Girl Cookies involvement and as I was writing out my script, it brought me back to the very beginning of how this all came about and where it has taken me since then.  I need to say thank you to all of you who have supported this (and me) with your kind words, actions, donations, word of mouth ‘publicity’ and everything in between.  Your involvement makes this what it is and keeps it alive.  If nobody really cared, I’d still be delivering cookies every week and having a blast doing it, but YOU make it all the more fun.  THANK YOU!

I also need to thank Lauren Glassberg, Jason Holder and the Channel 7 ABC Eyewitness New Team for such a great spot last week!  I’m guessing most of you have seen the video clip from when it aired last Tuesday, but in case you missed it:

Astoria woman bakes and delivers free cookies to businesses | Video | 7online.

I was really pleased with the way it turned out; she got all the important bits in there, I didn’t look too drenched… 🙂  So a huge thank you to everything at WABC, and hopefully, I’ve got a few new kindness converts reading this right now!

This week’s drop was at Chicken Shack on 30th Ave.  If you recall, I was originally directed to Ponticello Ristorante but they are currently closed for their summer vacation.  So Chicken Shack it was.  I dropped them off late Wednesday night on my way to dinner with my roommate and her family.  They were all in town from Cali for a wedding, and I was leaving the next day for my brother’s wedding – it was just a wild and crazy family wedding weekend for everyone 🙂  As they headed to their destination, I swung by Chicken Shack to drop off the goods.

Now I’ve encountered skepticism in my day, most notably at Il Bambino, but this may have topped that.  Girls have this innate ability to give the most subtle yet most stank look when they dislike or are suspicious of something.  Don’t try to deny it, we’re all guilty of this once and a while.  Being on the receiving end of that is sometimes worse than outright derision.  But, I persevered through her skepticism and continued to explain what I was doing standing there with a plate of cookies.  She finally cracked when, after all of my explanations (I was starting to ramble, trying to break through with anything), I said, “There are no strings attached, I really don’t want anything from this”.  And she smiled.  Granted, it was just a hint, but it was there.

I continued on to dinner where I had the real highlight of my cookie week.  We ended up at Butcher Bar, which I had not been to yet, and if you haven’t been either, what are you waiting for?  Holy delicious, Batman!  I bet a bunch of you are nodding your heads, going “Well, duh”  I know, I know, shame on me.  Having lived in Philly for a few years while getting my Masters degree, I went with the Philly Cheese Brisket Sandwich.  I knew it wasn’t going to be a classic cheese steak (which I LOVE, btw.  Jim’s on South St is my fav. Or the White House Sub Shop in AC) but I was not prepared for how delicious it was.  Chock full of brisket, topped with a three cheese sauce dripping down my fingers, all on a nice big bun with a side of slaw and pickles.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the pickles or the slaw.  I prefer a vinegar based slaw, like the cabbage and rye seed at Queens Kickshaw.  I probably wouldn’t have had room for anything though, once I finished my sandwich.  I totally could’ve saved half of it to take home, but was leaving mega early in the morning to drive 6 hours for a wedding extravaganza weekend.  I definitely didn’t want any of that brisket to go to waste.

As a slight aside, not only did my brother get married this weekend, but being home means that I got to go to the happiest place on earth.  No, not Disneyland, WEGMANS!!  I am so stocked with fresh produce and amazing foods, I could throw a dinner party and still eat for days.  When this is what you see when you walk in, how can you not love it there?

photo (29)

I returned back to Astoria only on Tuesday afternoon, so Wednesday (yesterday) I went to pick up some lunch and my plate.  First I swung by SITE to pick up a plate there and see what kinds of good deals there were.  The store is really starting to clear out, but there are still lots of great must haves at 40% off.  Come on!  You gotta get there before it closes, but also, how excited are we for Lockwood to open up??  I know I am.

I got to the Chicken Shack and explained to the lovely young lady behind the counter what I was looking for, and if they could give me a recommendation.  I got my plate, put in an order for a chicken pita (Come on, it is still Astoria after all) and she told me to head to Vanilla Sky on Broadway.  Imagine my excitement – now I have an actual excuse to get froyo!  It’s practically a requirement.

photo (28)

As I waited for my food, I started chatting with the girl behind the counter, Fara is her name, about where she comes from, what’s her story, etc, when this older Italian man interrupts us with an “Excuse me miss, Signorina?  yeah, can I get a diet coke but with no caffeine?  *shows bruise on arm * See I was just in the hospital and gotta have no caffeine.”  Sidenote – please read this with a stereotypical New York Italian accent.  Fara kindly helps him, I’m not offended, just amused – we were only chatting anyway.  And to further paint the picture.  he was very tan, I could see the roots coming in on his hairline and moustache, big dark stylish sunglasses, and a lot of machismo swagger.  We continue chatting, and he comes back again.  “Signorina, I’m sorry, but this has caffeine.  I can’t drink it. I’m very strong, you know, but *show arm again* I think I broke a muscle or something.”  Fara takes the Diet Coke and trades it out for a Sprite.  A minute goes by, “Signorina, you listen good, you know dat?  I gotta have a glass a’wine, my arm is killin’ me.  I was just in the hospital, you know.  But I’m not afraid of dying.  I’m not afraid. I got stabbed in the back once.  Yep, stabbed with a screwdriver.  I ain’t afraid.”  Oh.  My.  Lordy.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love this neighborhood 🙂  Truly, it is full of characters.

So today I’m off to Vanilla Sky for some froyo and a swing by to Singlecut to see my lovelies – ooh, and to check out the new t-shirts they have.  I saw them on twitter and they look nice!

I’m also starting to mentally prepare for being away for the month of August.  The school where I teach voice closes for the month, so unless somebody’s got a one month job for me here, off to home it is!  First, a week in the Outer Banks with my family, then back to Upstate.  What I’ve decided to do with SGC is to take it on the road!  I’ll do a couple drops in Single Girl fashion in North Carolina and then do “single Girl Cookies:  Hometown Edition” for the month of August.  I need a place to start at both of those locations and am taking requests!  It still doesn’t feel right for me to choose the starting place, so the place with the most recommendations gets the drop!  Leave a comment, shoot me an email, or tweet to me who YOU think (in OBX and Penn Yan) deserves the next plate of cookies!


Renee Heitmann. Copyright 2013



  1. Laurie · July 11, 2013

    Hi Renee, how about the Keuka Comfort Care Home here in PY for a Single Girl drop? Congrats on your baby brother getting married. 🙂 I am enjoying your blogs.
    Love, “Mrs. Hey”

  2. Grace Knapton · July 11, 2013

    oh my so many places…..the ambulance corp would be great, thinking of volunteers, keuka comfort care, firehouse, my house…..lol see how I snuck that in…..rainbow junction, the kids would love them……st mark’s terrace…..will keep thinking but this gives you a start…..love ya Grace

  3. Sammi · July 11, 2013

    I think Longs would be a good one. They have been around forever and you can get a good book and a fun pen while you are there:) (the pen thing is my little crazy; I love pens and I always buy one when I go lol) Blessings to you and the lives you touch……

  4. meredithmarsh · July 11, 2013

    Keuka Comfort Care Home, definelty! Or, Wood-Tex Products in Himrod 🙂

    • astoriabaker · July 11, 2013

      So far, three votes for Keuka Comfort Care…it’s looking good! Honors is technically out of my jurisdiction 🙂

  5. Alaina · July 15, 2013

    What about the beach in OBX? I know I would welcome a snack, remember the ice cream guy? Hey, maybe the ice cream cart person!

    • astoriabaker · July 15, 2013

      I had forgotten about the ice cream man! Although Single Girl Law states that it has to be a business. Beach is a no go….

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