Picking ‘n pickling olives

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Last weekend we picked some olives from Uncle Bob and Aunty Marg’s tree. It was so laden with fruit that the 5kgs we took didn’t even make a dent.

Jasmine picking olives in olive!

My olive tree (which I have had for 7 years) only this year fruited for the first time. It must have known I was going to gift it to someone else if it didn’t perform. Anyway, I was keen to use these olives, but only 3 actually ripened, so I don’t see images of myself cold pressing bountiful amounts of olive oil.

I am going to pickle these olives using a long pickling method you can use for ripe, part or fully coloured olives, and hopefully down the track use these olives in things like sourdough bread (I sadly live with people who don’t love them. Only me). The recipe has been handed down by Uncle Bob. I need to soak the olives in a brine for 6 months before I do anything else, so that’s pretty straightforward.

So, here they are, and in 6 months time I will continue the story and give you an update on their progress.

My olives in brine - they need to stay like this for 6 months

Ingredients

  • 5 litres of water
  • 300g cooking salt (I use rock salt for no reason other than I have a 25kg bag of the stuff, that I also use for hams and bacon)
  • 2kgs of ripe, part or fully coloured olives

What you will need

  • Big cooking pot
  • Big container with a lid (I have glass, but food grade plastic is fine)
  • Small cup or plate to submerge the olives
  • Dark cool spot (my laundry is perfect for this)

What to do

  1. Heat the water in a pot, and add the salt, stirring until the salt dissolves. Allow to cool
  2. Add the olives and brine into a container
  3. Use a plate to unsure the olives are submerged below the brine
  4. Cover with a lid
  5. Sit in a cool dark place for 6 months

Uncle Bob assures me that during this time, the water will go mucky, and a horrible scum will appear on top of the olives, and all of this is normal. This process removes the bitter flavour from the olives. To tell when the olives are ready for the next step, taste the olives (in 6 months time), and if they only taste of salty olive, then we can move to pickling!

Will update this blog mid-October.

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