Thursday, 19 April 2012


We have an olive tree in our garden which has finally matured enough for a crop of olives.  I've been watching the olives ripen from the window of my sewing room.  Last week I picked some, they hadn't fully turned black (given the choice, I prefer to eat black olives rather than green olives)  but I was worried that the birds would get into them and ruin them.

I started curing them (in the right hand jar) and today I noticed that there were more black olives on the tree so I picked more and set about curing them (the left hand side jars).  The method I am using is the one from  The Real Food Companion by Matthew Evans, simply immerse in fresh water, change the water every day and after ten days or so they will be ready for brining, which will take another three months.

The plastic bags (which are filled with water) are to keep the olives submerged in the water, you could use a plate but as I'm using jars, plastic bags are the simplest way to accomplish that.  It was also recommended to taste one prior to curing, which I did, it was awful, but necessary because after the ten days is up, you need to taste another one to see if some of the bitterness has abated.  I can report that it worked as the one I tasted this morning wasn't as bitter as the one I tasted ten days ago, its worth noting that the ones I did today didn't taste quite as bitter, probably because they are riper.


  1. They are so beautiful Pip! What lovely colours. I'm sure they'll turn out deliciously.

  2. I haven't seen the olive process before, and all the different colours in the jars...enjoy the end result when they are ready

  3. my goodness girl, is there no end to your talents? No room for "rest" or "idleness" in your life :-)

  4. How fun & fascinating! I didn't realize that so much work went into curing olives. I always assumed you could eat them from the tree. Thanks for sharing this process with us!

  5. so that is how you take care of olives! wow I learn something new every day. I love them - have no olive tree though.

  6. Love your Olives Pip. We have a huge tree, but the wrong variety I think. It seems as though they are more suitable for oil, but I did preserve about 30 jars a couple of years ago. They are too small though.
    What variety is your tree?

  7. Very interesting. We have 2 big olive trees on our block - I might investigate and see what fruit is on them. We were told that some Italians from the district used to come and shake the trees to harvest them so they must be edible. I'll check them out tomorrow.

    The bag of water is a great idea - only a woman would think of that!

    Cheers - Joolz

  8. How wonderful to be curing your very own home grown olives - happy eats to look forward to (and Cody wont want to try them). My taste buds are excited for you and the Mister!


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