Pickling and preparing olives

My mom started it. A few years ago she decided to cure olives; just for fun she entered them in an olive-tasting competition. Her olives were chosen as the best-tasting ones.  She said she only followed the recipe. This year my sister and I decided to follow suit. We bought 8kg of black olives (did you know that the only difference between green and black olives is that the black olives are ripe green olives? – i didn’t – i actually never gave it a thought) , and started with the process. We are in week three. It takes longer than three weeks. The submerged-in-cold water-phase is completed, and presently the olives float around in salt water – until the taster(s) decides when the bitterness is not so bitter anymore. My son pulled a face, my daughter says they’re ready, and our Labrador could not decide what to do: it was near suppertime, so he ate it. I decided that the batch could do with another saltwater bath. Apparently, the longer olives ferment in brine, the less bitter and more intricate their flavor become.

Have you tried curing olives?


For those of you that miss a loved one (I do- my husband is in Europe on a business trip) or have a husbandman loved-one, here is a poem by Amelia Josephine Burr

Where Love is

BY the rosy cliffs of Devon, on a green hill’s crest,

I would build me a house as a swallow builds its nest;

I would curtain it with roses, and the wind should breathe to me

The sweetness of the roses and the saltness of the sea.


Where the Tuscan olives whiten in the hot blue day,

would hide me from the heat in a little hut of gray,

While the singing of the husbandman should scale my lattice green

From the golden rows of barley that the poppies blaze between.


Narrow is the street, Dear, and dingy are the walls

Wherein I wait your coming as the twilight falls.

All day with dreams I gild the grime till at your step I start—

Ah Love, my country in your arms—my home upon your heart!




Eish, I’ve made day three in the blog world.



3 thoughts on “Pickling and preparing olives

  1. Pingback: Sousing some of the season’s olives | the eleventh hour

  2. are you a sauerkraut lover? i have never eaten it… i think it’s the name that puts me off. Re the poem: I searched for some composition on “olives” — the quotes of Popeye & Olive Oil was not applicable:-)

  3. This is fascinating. I’ve never *thought* about curing olives, before a minute ago.

    Yesterday at lunch with friends, we talked about how our tastes have changed. *Now* I like red wine (instead of white), strong cheese (instead of mild), green and Kalamata olives (instead of plain black).

    One year a friend taught me how to make homemade sauerkraut in a five gallon bucket. That was novel and fun, but I decided that buying it in a jar was good enough for me.

    Let us know how it goes.


    PS – the poem is lovely – I wasn’t familiar with it.

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