the cure

Surprise it's me! I've decided in 2011 among other things, I'm going to make more of an effort keeping up with this blog. Since lately I've been experimenting more and more in the kitchen, the content will be dedicated more to that subject. Sorry if you were looking for something else but hopefully I can keep it exciting. So let's start this off with something fun. The Cure! You love Robert Smith? Fantastic. Me too! You love olives? Even better. Me too!

Curing olives is surprisingly easy. The hardest part may in fact be finding uncured raw olives to start. As it turns out there is an abundance of olive trees bearing fruit in our neighborhood but alas I didn't find them until it was past (what I thought) was olive season. As I understood olives ripen around mid to late October but lucky me this week at the farmer's market one of the vendors was selling olives for a mere $1.20lb! I bought right around 3lbs which in hind sight wasn't that much, probably 4 mason jars full.

From what I understand there are two main types of curing, dry or wet. The dry cure, essentially leaving the olives out in the sun, results in the super wrinkly black olives of which I'm not a fan. Thus I decided to go with a wet cure. With a wet cure you have 3 options, water, brine or lye. LYE! Yeah I'm scared of it too because did you see fight club? Lye is however the preferred method because it has the ability to produce the best tasting olive. Lye keeps the olives green and renders a better flavor. You do however need firm green olives with lye or otherwise they have the potential to get mushy. I separated mine out into green and not-so-green and have saved the best for lye. I've ordered some food grade lye and I'll be updating next week on that. Wish me luck.

Now what you see above are the not-so-green olives in a water bath. I read to speed the process you could smash the olives which I have done with the jar on the right. The water is already more murky than the olives on the left which I just sliced with a knife. T hey will stay in this bath for 1 week to 1 month depending on the olive and our patience, after which they will go in a brine with herbs and spices of my choosing. Excitement!

Up next, cleansing and why Dave and I love to punish ourselves in the month of January.