I'm finally settled into the desert house. I brought my mother here for a week and we had a good old time. She won about $700 at the Casino and we had a nice buffet seafood dinner. Spending some quality time with her was fun. I took her home on Thursday and headed back to the desert with the rest of my stuff on Friday. Joe had been house-sitting for mom while we were here, so I brought him back also.
We've spent the past few days getting settled in. Since I'll be here a year and a half, I have a lot more "stuff" than usual to find a place for. I've had to re-order some of my doll-making supplies since I didn't want to drag them all the way to California.
Today, Joe came in with some beautiful olives he picked off the tree in the back yard while pruning it. This gave us the idea to pick the olives on the REST of the trees in the park and to dry them. I love Greek-style olives. They're strong and full of flavor and best of all, they're free!
So we jumped in the car and went hunting. Most of the trees had dropped their fruit already, but we managed to find enough for a gallon jar.
Here they are. Beautiful. Black. Full of flavor!
Some have already begun dehydrating in the sun,
but that's ok.
Once the olives were picked and washed
we pricked each one with a fork.
We layered them with salt in a one gallon glass jar.
Any glass container will work, however.
Some people use plastic; I'm just not fond of plastic
for long term storage.
We used Pink Himalayan Salt,
but you can use any clean kosher salt.
I get mine on Amazon.com.
This works best if the olive skin is broken.
Some people hit them with a hammer.
Some slit them with a knife.
I simply laid them out on a cloth
and picked them up with a fork,
breaking the skin as I stabbed them.
We didn't really measure.
We just put a layer of salt in the bottom,
then a layer of olives,
then a handful of salt,
We had just enough to fill the jar.
Then we rolled the jar until all of the olives were covered.
Here is what they look like:
Now, we will keep the jar in a dark cupboard,
and we will roll the jar each day.
Oily black water will begin accumulating
in the jar.
We will watch carefully,
and once the water has stopped coming out of the olives,
we will pour it off and replace it with
clean spring water to wash the salt off.
Then we will store our dried olives in olive oil,
and maybe some thyme.
They will keep up to two years.
I can't wait!