For the past couple of years, I have admired the beautiful jars of olives, that Tyson's Aunt Cindy has cured. I let her know that I was interested in learning the ins and outs of curing olives. I had no idea the extensiveness of the process, but was enthralled in learning. I was extremely intimidated, once I realized all that was entailed, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I spent a morning with Cindy at her house, where she explained the step by step process. My respect for her grew a million fold, once I learned the labor that went into those olives.
Her grandmother was from Italy and cured olives throughout the years. Over the years Cindy learned the process and now cures her own olives every year. I was so grateful she took the time and patience to teach me the process. I love learning new skills and jump at the chance for any opportunity to expand my homemaking skills.
Fresno is known for its rich abundance of agriculture. I never even knew what an olive tree looked like before moving here. My curiosity sparked when I noticed these gorgeous, unique looking trees. I immediately asked Tyson what that was, when he informed me that it was an olive tree. I now feel like I have a little connection to those trees and hope to have a couple of my own one day.
I was planning on picking my own olives this year, but I had already missed my chance. All of the tree's I was going to pick from, had already turned black. Luckily there is a farm here in Fresno that sales olives by the pound. They pick them fresh for you and they look beautiful.
Saturday morning Cindy came over to my house and we started the sorting process. We had almost 27 pounds of olives to sift through. You end up touching each olive, looking for blemishes, holes or stems.
^^^ I couldn't get over the vibrant color of green, that was bursting from the box. ^^^
After sorting through the olives we only found a handful of bad ones. We then took the good olives into my laundry room and rinsed them clean.
We transferred them into a cooler where they began the leaching process.
The most intimidating thing about curing olives is working with the Lye. Lye is a poisonous chemical that pulls the bitter taste out of the olives.
Once the Lye was mixed we added the remaining water. We placed the olives in the water, covered them with parchment paper and let the Lye go to work.