Day 333: Bottle collecting

guinness-strengthFor my good deed today, I made a trip to The Beer Store. Wait a minute, that sounds a bit strange. Let me explain.

I wasn’t buying Guinness for my dear old Irish dad or picking up a case for the neighbours, I was dropping off empties for their Returns for Leukemia campaign.

[FYI, in Ontario, we can only purchase beer at The Beer Store (hey, no confusion about what they sell!), or at an LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) store, which are both regulated by the provincial government.]

This weekend, customers were invited to donate all or a portion of their empty bottle refund to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. And 100% of the funds contributed went directly to the charity.

According to The Beer Store website: “In 2008, we were proud to raise $650,000 to support the Society in its fight against leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.” That’s a lot of bottles!

Being more of a wine drinker, I’ve only stepped inside a beer store (or Brewer’s Retail, as it used to be called) a handful of times. So I felt a little awkward going in with my empties, which I had collected after a family barbecue.

As soon as I crossed the threshold, I felt as though lights would flash and an alarm would sound: “Warning! Warning! Intruder on premises!”

Thankfully, that did not happen. Everyone went about their business without the least bit of interest in my dazed look of confusion. There were three people in line with boxes of empty bottles, so I used my keen powers of observation to figure out it was the “Returns” line. (The sign that read “Returns” helped too.)

I noticed they’d ring in the empties, give the person their money and then you had the choice as to whether or not to contribute the amount into a glass box. Most people were doing that — and adding extra — I was heartened to see. So I simply followed suit and did the same.

No lights, no alarms, just a musical tinkling of empty bottles….

Don't you just love lettuce?

Don't you just love lettuce?

Caesar salad recipe
According to The Beer Store website, brewskies (consumed in moderation) actually have some health benefits (Vitamin B12, and other nutrients) … of course they would say that! So, in the spirit of good health, here’s a Caesar salad recipe (by Roger Mittag) with a lager twist. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
3 anchovy fillets
60 mL mayonnaise
90  mL light beer
150 mL olive oil
1 head Romaine lettuce
salt and pepper, croutons, bacon bits, grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS: In a blender, combine garlic and anchovies to create a paste. Add mayonnaise and beer; blend until smooth. With blender on high speed, slowly add oil. Tip: As dressing thickens, add oil very slowly so as not to break the emulsion. Add salt, pepper to taste, then chill until set.

Remove the lettuce leaves from head, rinse and pat dry with paper towels, then tear into bite-sized pieces. In a salad bowl, pour dressing over lettuce and gently fold into lettuce with salad tongs. Sprinkle with croutons, bacon bits and Parmesan cheese to taste, and gently fold into mixture.
Serves 4

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