Saturday, March 19, 2016

Drano For Olives

As I said in my last post you can't eat olives straight from the tree, they're hard as a rock and have to be cured before you can eat them.  There are 3 main ways to do this; with salt water, with oil and with lye.
The salt water method, which Mac has tried, takes forever and really, the olives are just so-so in taste.
He hasn't tried the oil method, but we've eaten oil-cured olives and though reasonably tasty, to be blunt they're oily.
So he decided on the lye method and after doing a lot of research he decided to use Drano crystals, they're almost pure lye---though I've read that they've changed the formula and it might not be as good to use.  Anyway, you put the olives, the Drano and water into  a plastic bucket and let them soak.  After a couple of days you cut an olive open to see if the lye has penetrated all the way to the pit, the flesh of the olive will turn pinkish in color, check the biggest olives first.  When the lye has penetrated to the pit, dump that water and put the olives in fresh water.  As the lye leaches out it colors the water red.  You keep changing the water until the water is clear.  Dump the water again, put in fresh water, add garlic, oregano or any herb you like.
Then put them in jars.
They were wonderful, everyone use to ask for a jar.  I would love it if this tree produced, but if I remember you have to have at least 2 trees.  We'll see.

14 comments:

  1. Interesting to hear about the different methods. We like the deli olives that are oily so if I had an olive tree, I might try that method.

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  2. You are never too old to learn, I have learnt so many things from this post. Amazing, thank you for sharing.

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  3. Thanks for giving us the lowdown on Drano and olives. I don't think I'd be brave enough to try it, but good to know the process. I've tried to bite an olive off a tree (native California here...from the wine country of Sonoma, which is now taking out vineyards and putting in olive trees again) and can attest that they're uneatable.

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  4. Interesting, up here lutefisk is soaked in lye. I don't like olives, I never acquired a taste for them:)

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  5. I love the oil cured ones. Yes they are oily but so good.
    The trouble with olive trees are they are messy and you need two as I understand. But places like Las Vegas have banned them. You can only plant non fruiting olive trees. Seems all the old neighborhoods that have olive trees have to clean up the blooms trim them off or wash them off. Or face a fine. Seems the olive pollen is so strong that is is a the allergy season.

    cheers, parsnip

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  6. What an interesting method to cure olives. None of the family like olives so it's something I never buy.

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  7. I would have thought the Drano would be harmful to you, but I guess it leaches out with the rinses. I love olives on my pizza, but sadly I'm the only one so I don't get that treat!
    Wendy

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  8. Oh to have an olive tree that produces enough olives. We have a very weedy specimen in a pot. Don't think our climate will persuade the poor thing to do more than flower. Your olives sound delicious. B x

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  9. Somehow this sounds scary. It's probably just the thought of Drano (plus I'm not an olive lover). Wonder how they do it in Italy? Good luck and be sure to rinse well! :)

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  10. I didn't know that you need two trees together or that they had to be cured. It's too cold for them to grow here! I love olives though.

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  11. Ooh yes, I've eaten fresh olives before and they were almost inedible! Well done for finding a way of home preserving them - I think I'll stick to buying them ready made though!

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