Olives: My first foray into the unknown

My name is Judy L and I have a passion for olives.  It began later in life when I realized that those black orbs that accompanied the antepasta plate at my aunt’s house could actually taste good.   My secret fantasy of a yard filled with olive trees began while I worked/traveled through Italy, Greece and France.  When we (Two Broads) traveled through Spain last year each meal presented us with a new and wonderful riff on “aceitunas”.

My fervor for olea europaea reached new heights last summer when I purchased four trees and planted them on the hillside.  Foolishly I dreamed that neighbors would be inspired by my trees and plant trees in their sun drenched lawns as well.  Then we could start an olive co-op and have first pressed olive oil, exchange recipes and live happily ever after.  I quickly realized that my passion was non-transferable.

This week I walked down the hill and harvested the fruit.

What a pleasure.  Now for sure, the harvest wasn’t huge, a bowlful, yet it’s my first harvest.

After scouring the internet for cures for curing I decided to go with the salt brine.  From all accounts one uses a 10:1 ration of water to salt for the brine.  In my case 5 cups of water and  1/2 cup of kosher salt.  It’s also recommended that one insures that the olives are fully submerged in the brine.  Since none of my dishes would fit in the mouth of my jar, I filled a baggy with water and pushed it down into the jar.

Now the wait is on.

From all reports the process can take from 3 weeks to 5 months.  I will keep you posted as to their progress.

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8 Responses to Olives: My first foray into the unknown

  1. Kay Tornborg says:

    3-5 MONTHS!!!!! I’m hungry NOW!! I’ll put you in my datebook for Jan/Feb. I know they’ll be worth waiting for!
    Kay T

  2. Kay Tornborg says:

    ‘Moderation’???? What’s that?

  3. Tania says:

    Judy, I write this from Istanbul. I am a huge olive fan and certainly would have planted a tree had I known. Now don’t eat them all! I look forward to trying out a few at the next supper club soiree!
    YUM! I can’t wait.

  4. Janie says:

    Well, I have to say the salt brine is the way to go every time. Just finished my last jar that I made from our olive tree at my brother’s house in Palm Springs. Picked them at Christmas and enjoyed them through the summer until this past weekend. Love, LOVE, LOVE olives!!! Good luck with yours!

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