Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Summertime Olives

Fresh & Bitter, 2010

A friend of a friend has a grandfather who is a farmer and now this mountain of olives is mine. Beautiful fat green California olives grown on trees that have been around for 125 years. It's all very grand. They were delivered to me last night. I've been looking at them today, for a while now. I'm feeling a little intimidated.

I've done some research. This gentleman says Brine-curing is stupid easy, but takes FOREVER. Somehow this appeals to me. The intimidation is fading. This is the path I will follow.

It seems we are entering a long-term relationship. We'll begin today, but they won't be ready until June or July. I bought a nice large glass jar. I have a box of salt. All I need is some white wine vinegar. The Moroccan spices will be added later...

I'm going to have my own homemade olives, eventually. This is kind of exciting. Summertime Olives.

Thanks, Susan.


  1. love the long-term relationship bit. so lovely + true!

    xo Alison

  2. So, no lye, then? I did a lye cure and it was, actually, wonderful. You leach the lye out, of course.
    Anyway, I'm impressed and jealous. Happy outcome!

  3. awesome. i love that you don't mind the long wait. can't wait to read about them in the summer.

  4. What an adventurous lady you are...I love it! It will be so neat to hear how it goes once summer is back.

  5. My son would be so jealous, he loves olives (we all do, but him especially so). What a wonderful adventure.

  6. I do the long haul every year...it is simple and easy and you end up with delicious cured olives. Be sure that your brine is salty enough to float an egg.

  7. a little envious... I would love to figure out what to do with olives.

  8. oh, how wonderful - i love olives and i could could imagine how fantastic ones that you put up yourself will be.

  9. I saw some at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market last week! I was tempted but I know from someone who has olive trees in Provence that indeed, the brining process takes for EVER...

  10. Oh, how wonderful. My in-laws are in Italy right now harvesting their first crop of olives on a property they were lucky to purchase this past year. I'm looking forward to the whole process too....

  11. looking forward to the pang of recognition we'll have next summer when the olives are ready.

    oh yeah, we'll think i remember that post, how quickly the months have gone by.

    xo jane

  12. How fun! It reminds me of when I decided to make my own vinegar and went in search of "mother."

  13. i once ate too many green olives in middle school home ec class while waiting for our lasagna to burn. and i've never eaten them since.

    p.s. i really like your weathered collander though...

  14. Alison, Thank you.

    cookiecrumb, No lye. I had all I needed for this version, so didn't explore the lye option. Fingers crossed.

    shari, The long wait isn't really my style, but once in a while I'll tackle such a project.

    alexandria, I hope it's a happy summer report.

    kate, They are in the jar now, with the brine. I'm feeling hopeful.

    Mary, My egg sort of floated, kind of half-way, so I added more salt...same...more salt...same. Finally I just decided to go with it and hope it was enough.

    Annje, The two links in my post are pretty nice starting points, if you do feel like tackling an olive curing project one day.

    Char, This is my hope.

    Mary-Laure, Yes, I'm prepared for the EVER. I am hoping they will be worth the wait.

    mosey, Very fun. Olive oil too? Hopefully you'll be there harvesting yourself one season.

    flwrjane, I like that idea, for the olives, but not for the rest of life. Doesn't it all seem too fast sometimes?

    Rachael, Your own vinegar? Nifty. I looked up "mother" in the vinegar context. Good to know. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I believe I've thrown away vinegar before it's time because I wasn't informed.

    Melissa, Oh no. You need a new and improved experience to replace the old. Maybe one day... Thank you for noticing my colander. I found it in the thrift store in Point Reyes. I gave my nice shiny colander to Goodwill and kept this darling little lopsided treasure. I prefer it.

  15. I had no idea that olives took so long to cure. I'm sure they will be worth the wait, especially with those Moroccan spices added.

  16. oh how fun! my mouth is watering and they aren't even mine. enjoy!

  17. ah, an exciting experiment--long-term, but days move quickly, and those fat green olives will be ready to enjoy. there is pleasure in patience.

  18. How exciting to make your own olives. You will have plenty of time to plan how you will sample the first ones.

  19. There's nothing like home-brined olives - so fresh and mild. I had no idea they took so long to make, however! Yikes!

  20. I read this on the commute to work this morning, Lawrence Durrell on olives " A taste older than meat or wine, a taste as old as cold water."

  21. we tried to cure our olives last year, too - we used a recipe calling for ashes. please don´t try that...the mold everything turned into looked really spectacular, but it wasn´t worth the effort and time. wishing you better luck with your green beauties!

  22. Oh my goodness! I am so jealous. Best of luck with the brine you lucky, lucky girl.

  23. Curing your own olives is amazing! I'm jealous! :)

  24. Michele, I hope they are worth it.

    Jane, :)

    nancy, You are so right. There is pleasure in patience.

    P.K., Yes, it's a nice slow ride.

    Stacy, There are quicker routes, I just took a longer road.

    Debs, Love it!

    Leslie, It is pretty fun.

    WSAKE, I saw lye, but I didn't even know I had an ash option.

    Bethany, Thanks for the luck. I've read about some bad outcomes and just might need a little luck.

    Magda, I hope it is.

  25. What an excellent gift! First by giving you something you can make or cook something with and then later when you can offer them to friends stopping by... self made...the time...the taste.

  26. I loved that you pushed back at your initial intimidation at a bowl of olives...I would have felt the same. Please share your first taste with us...I just know they will be delicious.

  27. Denise, this is so exciting. You know I want to do it someday, too! You picked the right guy to follow, I believe. When I saw your link, I hoped it would click through to Hank. Looking forward to hearing how they turn out.

  28. Anne Marie, I agree, an excellent gift! Now let's hope this experiment works.

    Rachel, I hope you are right. Delicious would be nice.

    Shae, Oh, you know the olive dude. Cool. You are the queen of preservation. I'm sure that when you give it a go you'll work out a perfect recipe (even better than the olive dude's).