summertime… and the living is (gr)easy!

Well, summer must finally have arrived in Ontario, as attested to by the new copy of the Bible that I found at the All Hallowed Store of Liquors yesterday:

(ducking to avoid mass chunk of ice which will inevitably fall on my head, resulting from freak late June snowstorm and provoked by tempting the Fates!).

This was perfect timing, as I’m trying to plan my mid-August party. Now, between all the delicious recipes in this mag and those in another book I recently got from the library:

I now have a ridiculous number of new recipes to try. JJ, cringing at my evergrowing scrawled list of “must-makes”, reminded me yesterday that were I actually to make all the food I wanted to make for this party, I could likely feed … oh, the whole building and the two next door besides!

So, what’s the problem! Opa!!

Speaking of “opa”, I had to laugh because the Bible featured a feta and watermelon salad as a “new trendsetting item”. I have been making this for at least two years and Nigella Lawson had a version in one of her books at least five years ago. Try it out – her recipe is at this link, and I’ve had at least 40 rave reviews by now.

But, actually, this discussion is altogether too healthy, given the provisions laid in yesterday for kickoff of Summer in the House of Brouhaha:

Get this! New, scottish-style beer! And it’s one of the “bargain priced” ones. Go figure:

This beer went very well indeed with a very greasy (and very delicious) indian buffet we got to pig out on at a party last night…lamb vindaloo and meat samosas and all the naan you could hide in your purse stomach.

And, more guid news – the Laundry Room drought is over!!

Check out the fancy unopened mango bath products gift box!

And, in light of my whine about meetings the other day, this was a particularly welcome find:

Here’s the original poster from Despair, Inc.:

There is some peculiar truth to that. Must be some mathematical equation out there regarding quantum of intellect and how it flies out the window during meetings!

But why am I talking about meetings, anyway?! It’s Sunday. Off to eat some chips make some breakfast, kick JJ’s lazy @$$ out of bed and see what the day holds.

Happy Sunday!


social responsibility and … booze?

Well, summer has arrived!!!

How do I know? Because the LCBO has come out with its early summer issue of the Food and Drink magazine!

Now, this has got to be the best free mag going! Not only does it have lots of free yummy recipes:

(A note: if you’re trying to diet, never, ever look at this magazine. Although the photos look so good that you could probably end up eating the paper they’re printed on…)

…but also lots of important lifestyle tips. I mean, I don’t know how much longer I can survive without buying some chocolate covered sunflower seeds:

…Dufflet chocolate bark:

…or a $32.00 lemon juicer!

(But here, gentle reader, I must confess that I actually now own one of these. In my defence, JJ bought it for me as a gift, knowing how much I love lemon, and it cost quite a bit less than $32.00 where he got it.)

And, here’s the perfect hostess gift for the next time you need one: a “chip ‘n dip” set

Only $240.00!! (Hmmm… how many bags of chips could I actually buy with that, though – and hey, they taste the same coming right out of the bag, no?).

Now, the only reason that the LCBO can actually offer this mag for free (which, by the way, has in past inspired a complaint to the Ombudsman from companies which actually sell their magazines) is that it is government controlled.

That’s right, folks – here in Ontario the government sells us our liquor. At a premium, of course.

What cheeses me off more though of late is that we’re also paying to get lectured while buying booze these days. For example, the LCBO used to have plastic bags like this:

Now, let me tell you, these bags were famous. They were the best plastic bags ever. This was the topic of many of those banal smoking area or elevator chats. Seriously. You could have a whole five minute conversation on “Don’t the LCBO have the best bags?”. I even know one landlord rep who used them as briefcases!

Well, alas, no more. Seemingly overnight, they discontinued the plastic bags in order to save the environment. So, instead, you can get either a free (paper) bag – great if you’ve driven in your gaz guzzling SUV to the liquor store, not so great if you are walking any distance – or, you can have one of these “enviro-bags”:

…which costs $1.95.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s a good idea to do away with plastic bags. However, because they didn’t bother to announce that they were doing this but landed it on us, I was actually forced to buy one of their bags when I stopped in on the way home from work one day.

But then perhaps whinging like this is not socially responsible of me. As a consumer, however, I’m just getting tired of corporations taking the moral high ground, lecturing me about my (lack of) commitment to the environment, then turning a profit from it.

It strikes me that if the LCBO were really serious about encouraging people to use these bags (rather than paper, which as I understand it, involves trees being cut down), they would sell them at cost. And although I don’t know for certain I would venture to say that the LCBO does not itself pay $1.95 for each bag.

I mean, it’s not as though they’re hurting any!

The LCBO transferred a record $1.275-billion dividend, not including taxes, to the Ontario government in fiscal 2006-07. It is the 13th straight year the LCBO has increased its dividend to the province and the fourth consecutive year the dividend has topped $1 billion.

I’d love to know how much of next year’s billion plus “dividend” (is this a fancy word for “profit”?) relates to the sale of enviro-bags, myself.

And is it “socially responsible”, pray tell, to hawk $240 chip bowls rather than encouraging people to donate that kind of money to – oh, I don’t know – Mothers Against Drunk Driving, perhaps?!