What about the olives I asked? No one knew what to say. Our front yard has two large olive trees, each with weighted down branches, full of black and green oval fruit – and every shade in between. In fact, one large branch was so heavy, it cracked and dangled close to the ground. Both trees had begun to shed its fruit – that ancient delicacy.
I wanted to harvest the dozens, no hundreds of olives that were ripening and wasting their lives by falling to the hard earth below, where they would become mashed down with everything else. But no one else in the house either liked olives that much or knew what to do with them. And hundreds – maybe thousands – were still left – connected to the thin branches, with all their potential still residing within their acerbic outer skin.
Filling up one large pot with them, I turned to a few friends, to see what I should do with them. One friend said collect them in jars and fill the jars with red vinegar. Another friend promised to get back. Most recipes for olive harvesting required drastic amounts of lye – needed to apparently leech out the nasty, bitterness.
There must be a better way, I cried!
Olives have been harvested for thousands of years – they were present with Adam and Eve in the Garden. The Greeks, Romans, Palestinians – all knew what to do with olives. Somebody must know how to make them edible.
Do you have a recipe for harvesting and prepping olives? You must! Please let me know, as I don’t want to waste them. And are there differences in how to treat black olives vs green ones? What if they’re already wrinkled?
Help me with how to treat these guys. Puleeese!