Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Olive Project: Week 6

After what seems like forever, the olive project has reached the 6 week mark. Stirring once a week is about all the time investment I've had since putting the olives into the brine. I've had time to do a bit of research since starting this easy, if not challenging project, and am glad to have answers to a few questions which have arisen.

The directions tell you to skim the scum off the top of the brine as the olive cure. I assumed the scum was a bit of olive pulp rising to the top. No big deal. A little skimming, a little stirring. What the directions neglected to mention was the green mold that I found floating. Who knew mold could grow in/on such an environment? I was troubled by this but with no time (holidays) to look into it further, I just forged ahead. I'm glad I did, mold is to be expected and poses no threat as long as it's not on the olives. I set a plate in the bowl to keep the olives submerged so the olives were safe. Nonetheless, gross.

When the olives went into the brine they were black. As they began to cure, they became green. I thought this was really weird and wondered if I had done something wrong, but in consulting the deity that is Google, I found this to be typical. They will revert to black when exposed to air however, I am not sure how to make this to happen short of letting them sit on the counter for...awhile? Ultimately, they maybe greenish.

While not particularly attractive, they were only brined in salt. Most commercially produced olives are cured in lye and this is the reason for the mushy texture. These olives have a bit of a tooth - just the way I like them.

Here they are in all their ugly glory. I must say, while not beautiful they are quite good. Olive-y without being bitter although a bit too salty. I rinsed them several times and have left them in a a container of fresh water in the fridge. Supposedly, this will alleviate the saltiness. I'll rinse them every other day or so and see what happens. After, hopefully, reducing the salt, I plan to marinated them with a bit good olive oil, garlic, hot peppers or fresh herbs. I'll keep you posted.

They are definitely far from pretty but sometimes the homemade isn't.

Herein lies the beauty.

1 comment:

Georgine said...

I have said it before, and I'll say it again, you are the coolest!!!! Making your own olives. I have trouble getting chicken stick made. OK, making it is easy. I hate straining it, cooling it and then freezing it. What a mess.

Hey, forgot to tell you, the tamales and caramels ROCKED!!!!