|My home-cured Calabrian-style olives on the day I jarred them, Nov. 2010.|
Step 1: Smash the olives to loosen the pit.
Step 2: Put the smashed olives in a bowl and cover them with water for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Soaking in water will loosen the pit from the olive and you will be able to remove it much more easily.
|Lisa's stained hands after taking the pits out of a lot of olives.|
Step 4: After taking out the pit, put the olives in a large container and cover with water. Change the water twice a day for about a week. The olives will start to turn brown and so will the water you pour off of them. According to Lisa you need to check to see if they're ready. She says, "Taste them, the bitterness should be largely gone, but if there is a bit of bitterness it's ok. They should not get mushy though so don't leave them in the water for too long... it is a delicate balance." (I think I screwed this part up. At first I wasn't changing the water twice a day. And then I think I might have left them in the water a little too long. They weren't mushy and they weren't bitter, but they weren't very flavorful either. Live and learn.)
Step 5: Press the water out of the olives. Lisa and Louis broke down and bought a food press (really an apple cider press) to deal with their enormous quantity of olives. I did it the old-fashioned way... with a ricer. It's important to get as much water out of the olives as you can. I was afraid of crushing the olives at first, but after a while I realized that I could use every bit of strength I had, and the olives still kept their shape.
|My jarring process.|
Step 7: Let the jars it out for 24 hours to absorb the flavors. Put the jars into the refrigerator for storage. When you want to eat your olives, take them out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving. The olive oil from the bottom of the jar is especially good eaten on a chunk of torn (not cut!) bread. Enjoy!