The Green Olives

“Whatya’ do today?”

“I sat in the sun on the porch of a centuries old stone farm house in Tuscany and using a stone, I cracked olives that I grew and picked.”

One day last week I picked the green olives.  There is one tree in front of the guest house that one of owners of the property said was a good variety for ‘jaring up’.  Since most of this tree was still green and fatter than the others I decided this must be the tree.  The fat green olives of last week had started to wrinkle.  I think this means I missed their prime.  And it was cold and windy picking but since it was only one tree and not too tall I preserved.  The only tree I picked clean!

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Here’s the haul.

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The recipe from Fine Cooking calls for cracking the olives (it says that green olives are rock hard) and then soaking them in water.  Changing the water every day and then flavoring them and storing them in oil.  It warned that cracking would splatter olive oil all over.  I set up a work area in the sun out on our front porch.

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The article said to use a stone to crack them.  Finding stones on this property is no problem.  I picked my two.  Washed and scrubbed them.  Sprayed disinfectant on them.  Scrubbed them again.  Poured boiling water over them.  And decided there wasn’t anything else I could do they were probably clean enough.

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I probably had about 1.5 lbs worth to do.

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These were softer than I expected and I smashed more than I cracked.  And I did splatter olive oil.  The green spots on the side of the bowl.

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And here they are soaking.  The olive oil forms a slick on the top of the water.  Now I change the water every day for 5 weeks.  I really only like green olives.  So let’s hope these turn out.  They apparently have a short shelf life.  Two or three months.  So don’t expect to taste these when you come to visit unless you’ll be here soon.

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Now let’s go back to how I started this.

“Whatya’ do today?”

Today, I did something that 2 years ago I could not have imagined.  I am telling you all, I know the economic things that are happening and I know that if you are still young you should keep working but you should be saving every penny you can.  And the rest of you who are old enough to retire, think about it.  Really truly think about it.  Retiring while you still have your health even if it means cutting your standard of living is so worth it.  And those of you who keep saying ‘oh, we’re coming to visit.”  Get planning!  1 year and 10 months left until we move from here.  It will go fast.

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