Sunday, 20 March 2016

My Teeny-Tiny Olive Harvest

It was my first olive harvest, so I had to google it like a total noob.

Here are the olives in situ on our adorable little olive tree.

I think you're supposed to either pick them when green, or wait until they all turn purple, depending on what kind of olives you want. But birds had already tried to peck at some of them, so I decided to harvest them today, without any further delay.

Possibly the world's smallest olive harvest. Actually, last year it grew about 3, but they fell off before I could do anything about it. So I'm quite pleased.

Olives can't be eaten raw: they're too bitter. They need to be cured. I used this tutorial from Milkwood and the dry salt curing option. Luckily I have a 1-kilo tub of salt, which I bought for cheesemaking that I never got around to doing (yet!).

At least I knew how to sterilise the jar from my jam-making exploits earlier this year! I prefer the oven method, as the process of oven-baking dries the jar and you don't have to dry it manually.

Packing the olives in layers with the salt. Though I'm pretty sure there are supposed to be more than 5 olives in each layer!

The jar should seal itself as it cools down. The tutorial says to shake it every second day. After three weeks, taste an olive every few days to see if they're ready yet. If I did that, there'd be none left in no time! So I might give it 4 weeks and hopefully that will be OK.

I'll update when they're done! Perhaps I'll have a little olive party. A very little one...

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