Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The Olive season crept up on me this year. Was it really one year ago that I was up the ladder in the Olive tree?
This year - Mimi found an article in Vasili's Good Gardening for Pressing Olives and this is the method I'm working on (See Good Gardening Magazine p. 75). It is incredibly simple - just cover your Olives in Sea Salt - wrap them in mesh (hessian or shad cloth) place over a rack for drainage and put a weight on top to encourage pressing. Leave for 2 weeks - opening up the cloth and checking that all olives are covered in salt ever 2nd days or so. How easy is that? Then wash and bottle the olives in olive oil with herbs (optional).
Lucky for me I had Mama Longo drop in last week and look over my work... "Too much salt - too much salt" and also she advised that my shade cloth was too tightly woven :( The juice has been draining, so I am going to stick with the shade cloth I bought - but will keep her advice in mind for next year.
The good part about pressing is its quick! Just 2 weeks.
Tis the season to be preserving and speaking with a friend at work - who surprises me each week with another preserving tip - lemons are dead easy to preserve. Here is the photo of my first attempt at preserving lemons. They will last years and are packed with punch for stews, curries even salads. This photo was taken on night 1 - the juices have all now released and you can top up the jar with more lemon juice to cover all the fruit if yours hasn't filled completely. He also suggests leaving preserving bottle outside - the warmth of the sun helps to speed up the process - although its been soo cold lately I don't know if its better out or in - but it may be the actual rays of the sun that are working in the process. Will continue to experiment and learn. (For instruction for lemons please see www.miyoga.com.au Newsletter #4).
Next? I have some chilli's that may find themselves bottled up soon.