Olive OCD

12 Dec


Can’t…stop…picking…olives.
The bumper olive crop (in the city and rural areas like Davis, CA) forces me to go back again and again. We’ve gone two weekends in a row now. Everytime we drive away from the picking spot (the best in Davis so far is on Russell Road, near the bike path) I look longingly at the olives still on the dang trees. Last weekend Willow, Traci, Gordie, Bill, and I went up together with buckets and rose wine, ate at RedRum Burgers and then picked olives for hours in the icy wind. Back at the farm, I hoisted more pillow cases into the rafters with their heavy load of olives and salt. Another batch of small ones I decided to brine cure. I added 1000 grams of Kosher Diamond brand salt to 10L of water (enough to make an egg float). Every day I stir them, and every week I’ll change the brine water. Essentially, I realized we’re working out the tannins and fermenting the little babies. Speaking of fermentation, Wild Fermentation author Sandor Katz was in the Bay Area this past weekend, hosting a workshop at SOL in East Oakland. He’s such a fount of cultural knowledge. If he’s visiting your area, do go see him.

4 Responses to “Olive OCD”

  1. Riana Lagarde December 12, 2007 at 8:52 pm #

    pillowcases full? like how many? you will be making some gallon jars of tapanade in your future!

    yum, i ate a ton of my foraged olives today on a baked tartiflette kind of gratin. with pork belly from the pig ladies with was soooo disappointing, but ill tell you about that later. still going to get a “cochon de lait” for xmas dinner though.

  2. Rebecca December 12, 2007 at 10:00 pm #

    Oh my goodness, I’m so jealous! Those are beautiful!

    (And Sandor’s a “cultural” resource. Ha ha ha.)

  3. Paul Ferguson December 18, 2007 at 2:24 am #

    Have you tasted the dry salt ones yet? For us, that method just left a bland dry skin over the pit. I’m wondering if you need a fat olive cultivar with heavy flesh. So far, the water only method is tasting the best. The brine method still has a bitter aftertaste. We’re going on week eight of curing.

  4. Jana June 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    This is desperately out of date late, but I’m dying to know how you dispose of your brine! Thanks – loving your blog, found it because a friend lent me your book! I scrolled back through all the entries to the beginning and have been reading it voraciously today. You are incredibly tough and non-squeamish; I am in awe of you. But, about that brine. . .?

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