Friday, May 21, 2010

Curing olives

In years past I have cured my own olives. The first time with a friend which was a great social event as we stood with the kids and slit each olive and put them in brine.

This process was then a 6 week long changing of water each day until the bitterness left the raw olive. Thereafter you place them in a vinegar, oil and water mixture with herbs and garlic.

However, when my gorgeous olives arrived yesterday I looked at all 20kg's and thought "No way, there has to be an easier method!" I found this lovely method to try this year which seems much easier. So after getting rid of 8kgs to friends....

I had a packet of Kosher salt in my cupbaoad thankfully which I thought would be enough but I ended up using my sea salt too while trying to get the right salinity.

The recipe calls for one quart of water - here was my first life is measured in liters! So I filled a quart ziploc bag which I had with water and went to work this way...not very accurate I know and I am sure the more math inclined could have worked out the millilitres for me, however....:-) So then the girls and I decided to give the "egg floating test" a go.

The recipe says that the right amount of salinity is achieved when the egg floats showing a diameter of 2.5cm above the water. After 9 heaped spoons of salt to 1 quart of water it floated!

Then it was simple a matter of filling the jars with olives and placing a weight on them to keep them immersed and then putting on the lids. So there you have it 12kg's of olives in brine for 3 months...


Lois Evensen said...

It's so very interesting how this is done.

After they are all "cured," how many jars per year do you use yourself? Just wondering because we love olives in our family, but I can't image using that many olives in several years.

Thank you for sharing this process.


Aussiemade said...

I am growing a couple of olive trees, they are very small at present so will have to wait years yet..sigh
I would love to be able to buy 20kgs of olives in I am now searching the webb for supplier in Australia.

Wendy said...

Hi Lois

I am blushing when I say that we will probably eat all 12kgs over the year. The kids make themselves a snack around 10 of olives and cheese...we eat them in salads each night...I put them on pizzas...make tapenades...into omlettes...into get the idea :-)

The best way to find suppliers of raw olives is at the market. I found my contact at a nautral living market a while back.

Tanya said...

I'm sure we could eat 12kg of olives too. Did you put a weight in each jar or just fill to the top with brine and then shake the jar every few days?

African Bliss said...

Oh my gosh we just love olives and can never get enough of them. Im with Tanya, we could definately eat 12 kg. Cant wait for our olive trees to reach maturity.