31 July 2013
Now I can say I've pickled olives!
A walk down any bluestone lane will give easy access to fruit trees spilling over fences, laden with freijoa, lemons, figs and olives. Everyone has a veggie patch and I've even had potatoes dug up and handed over for dinner.
And the latest gift was a basket full of freshly picked olives.
Now, I've eaten my body weight in olives, I love them, but I've never been part of the olive's journey from tree to marinated glory ready to eat. Turns out it's quite the palaver!
What's a girl to do? Well she immediately runs to the her kitchen guardian angels - Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion and Maggie Beer's Maggie's Harvest, of course. And a bit of Google for good measure.
I was a little overwhelmed, especially when Maggie herself says it's laborious and messy and after 20 years of pickling olives she still has good years and bad.
I can't wait! Imagine, 40 days in a bucket ... who was the first person to realise this was what the olive needed before you could eat them? It was amazing to watch them change from bright perky freshly picked fruit to bronzed softened and smelling like olives from a shop.
It saddens me to know I'm slowly losing my lovely old neighbours. I wonder what's happening to the old veggie gardens. I'm glad I've had the past 11 years getting to know them and learning some old ways.
And now I can say I've pickled olives!