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Friday, June 3, 2011

Final Bottling of the Olives

The olives have been having their daily brine bath
These olives (don't know what sort) took 11 days.
I tried one and they have lost nearly all of their bitterness.
The next step in the method I am following is to bring enough brine for bottling to the boil.
The ratio for this brine is 1 cup of sale to 10 cups of water
(so it is double what the olives have been soaking in daily)

I gathered together my collection of glass jars with glass lids.
These have been saved from Maccona coffee jars and even as far back as Bushell Tea when it used to come in glass jars. Salt corrodes metal very quickly so I have opted for these jars rather than the clip seal types.
I have seen some clip seal type jars where the wire was powder coated and that may help prevent corrosion if you are wanting to do olives or preserved lemons.
After the boiled brine is cooled it is poured into the jars so that the olives are covered and then a layer of olive oil is poured on top to cover any olives trying to float and to create a seal on top of the brine.
Pop the lid on and store. They will keep at least 12 months in this way now.
When you are ready to eat the olives, pour away the strong brine and fill the jar with plain fresh water and place in the refrigerator for 24hrs after which time they should have leeched out any excess salt.
If not drain and rinse one more time.
Now you can add flavourings at this point to the drained olives.
You could add lemon zest, crushed garlic, chopped chilli, chopped rosemary...
I don't find flavours "infuse" olives so much as they "coat" them.
They really are superb eaten plainly on their own.
It is true what they say about never going back to commercial olives again.
The initial task of washing and slitting was a bit onerous and after two days of brine changing I was thinking "what have I started!"
By day four or five it has become a habit and before you know it the 10-12 days is up.
So worth every second of my time.
The big plus is they are chemical free and organic.

4 comments:

  1. Such alot of work Tanya, but I'm sure the rewards are well worth.

    What about anchovy stuffed olives? Absolutely delicious, I could eat them by the jar full but I'm sure they would be much tastier if the olives were prepared following your method.

    Well done, can't be much room left in your pantry for all your homegrown/prepared treats.

    Claire

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  2. When you look at the finished result..all those glass jars full to the brim..you have every reason to be elated. The best part is yet to come..yum!

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  3. Well done !
    All worth the effort they look wonderful :)
    Bet they will taste even better over the next few months (after you get over the preparation !).

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  4. They look great Tanya. Well done.
    Very informative for those like me who have never tackled such a project.
    Hope you enjoy them.
    I love heated olives with drinks.
    Chris

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