Tuesday, March 15, 2011
From March to May olives slowly turn from green to black and this year Monica's tree has a bumper crop with branches bending low under the weight of fruit. The tree has been allowed to grow un-pruned for years as its main purpose in life is to provide summer shade from the fierce western sun and add atmosphere to a wonderful Italianate Sydney garden. The last time I pickled the olives from this tree the fruit had bruised as I had collected them as windfall and the resulting olives were too soft and only really good for making tapenade. This year the arborist was at work in the garden and he gently lowered the laden branches to the ground so I could hand pick them.
Patience is the key to successful pickling it seems. Last time I added too much salt when processing them which I didn't seem to wash off properly. Reading Maggie Beer's approach to preserving olives in her book Maggie's Farm has given me an incite into what can go wrong and it seems even the experts can have failures. So in about 6 weeks time and many changes of water later I might have some nice olives to share around.