Sunday, 18 April 2010

Autumn is for Olives

It's nearly time to deal with this year's olive crop.
I picked half a bucketful a couple of weeks ago when they were half green.
Cut each one several times with the point of a sharp knife...yes each little olive!
That's why I didn't  pick all the olives on the dozen or so trees covered with fruit, I'm a little lazy  busy.
Then I bundled them into a bucket  of fresh water.

Every day (it should be twice a day but I'm a little  lazy  busy) I changed the water. Two  weeks are nearly up and now I have to take action.

This is last year's jarful. Still sitting in brine...they should be done by now.... did I tell you I've been a little lazy busy?
Really the brine thing is only meant to take a few weeks.
See the big mouldy fermented plug of olives on the top? That won't hurt them. It lifts off and goes into the compost.

After they have been pickled they get rinsed and packed into nice clean jars  with the flavours of the minute. This batch is going to be garlic, toasted coriander seeds, fennel seeds and dried oregano. I'll put some lemon zest in too but will need to buy the lemon 'cos our lemon tree is in crisis care.
Fill the jar with equal measures of olive oil, cider vinegar and brine. Sit back and wait a few more weeks.
Make sure the jar is big enough to allow sampling. You might need to try a few each day after the first week, just to see how they are coming along of course. The best way to tell is with a glass of red, some cheese and crusty bread!
Now for the best bit. My MiL, the sweetest and best Italian nonna and cook in the world, who makes the most divine lasagne all from scratch, Yep! pasta, home made tomato sauce, home grown garlic, the works, rang me to ask for this recipe the other day!
How smug do you think I feel?
I have to thank my friend and neighbour Sherbert, who shared her recipe with me. Thanks Sherbie!


Lindi said...

ooh, delicious! we have olives growing here in the Hunter (well not us personally) and they are far far superior to supermarket olives. I loved those olives, but am now spoilt with fresh produce. How divine to have your very own!

Gene Black said...

Oh my... I have never seen olives growing. All of mine come from a jar or a can. I am now "olive green" with jealousy!

Lizzie said...

Yummo (is that a legitimate word?)! We have an, yes just one, olive tree and I'm hoping it will fruit next year, so I may need your recipe. Which by the way deserves all the smugness you should be feeling....

Bev C said...

Hello Sue,

Looks like we have been up to the same thing. Not long ago I found a heap of jars in the far back corner of my pantry cupboard. Yummo.

Have a Happy Monday.

Maria said...

You have been a busy girl.

webbsway said...

What a Wonderful post! My Mama and my DH absolutely adored olives! (Mama is gone) I always got a kick from watching them "scarf down" those little treasures. But, for some reason beyound my wee little brain - I never took the time to wonder how they were processed ? I must have just figured the grocery store plucked them up from magic cartons????? LOL

The process makes me think of making kraut. Created by loveing hands - that would probably win me over!!!!!!!! Anything "hand made" is always like a different world than the things that you get in a store.

I about fell over on my blog when you mentioned turning that mysterious building into a sewing retreat! THAT was the VERY idea that popped into my mind! See, great minds really do think alike! :)