Olive OCD

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

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

  3. 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. This is desperately out of date late, but I’m dying to know how you dispose of your brine!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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