Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Olives

We have three big olive trees in our backyard, but we usually leave the fruit to the birds (Wax-Eyes especially seem to love gorging themselves on olives). But earlier this year I saw some instructions for preserving your own olives in the NZ Gardener magazine and decided to give it a go.

The steps themselves are pretty simple, but the process is time-consuming. Before you even bottle the olives you have to remove some of their bitterness. The easiest way to do this is to soak them in water for a reasonable length of time, changing the water often. Of course if you like crisp, bitter olives, you can bottle them in brine pretty much straight away.

I picked olives off two of our trees (large black fruit on one tree and smaller green/brown fruit on another tree) and soaked them for about 40 days in clean buckets in our laundry sink. I changed the water often, but it certainly wasn't every day. At the weekend I finally got around to reclaiming the sink and bottling the olives in brine. They now have to pickle for another three months before we can eat them. I'll update you once we try them.

I've had a couple of friends ask me why I would go to so much trouble when I could just pop to the shops and buy a jar of olives for $5. I'm hoping the proof is in the tasting...

6 comments:

Melissa said...

that's an impressive effort. they look beautiful in their jars!

libby said...

cause you know where they came from....that's big in today's world!

Miss Smith said...

Wow how cool! Let us know what they taste like when they're good'n'ready. I'm very impressed at the things you do with stuff from your garden.

Helen said...

Because you'll have $50 worth of olives for pretty much freee

because you will have the satisfaction of learning a new skill and doing it yourself...

because it's better for the environment to eat the food from your own backyard rather than olives shipped from Greece or Italy

because they are pretty in their jars

because DIY is the new punk rock

because you are cool!

xx Helen

Kate said...

So much more satisying than buying them from the shop!

Maureen said...

Oh I would do it in a heartbeat. I had no idea that olives grew in NZ. In my ideal garden I'd have lemons, avocados, olives, and mangoes...well maybe some pecans too. ;-)