I love olives…. not the green ones in vinegar so much but the big brown, red and black ones in oil and spice. So this year I decided to branch out in my kitchen skills and cure olives for myself.

The first thing I learned is that curing olives is not for the impatient.

I ordered 20 pounds of Barouni olives from Chaffin Family Orchards. The olives cost $40 including shipping. I think it was a good buy.  Today I started the long process of curing the olives. 20 pounds of green olives made about 4 and 3/4 gallons!

Before the olives can be worked with they have to be “cracked”. This is usually done by smashing the olives with a rolling pin or other heavy object. I chose to slice the olives a couple of times with a sharp knife.

Next, the olives need to be soaked in pure water. The water has to be changed twice a day for 10-12 days and up to a month.

That’s what I’m doing now.  One way of soaking olives and riding them of the bitter oleuropein is to soak the olives in a lye solution. I’d rather not do that. I have made hominy using lye in the past so I understand the process, I just prefer not to use it and to use an even older and more traditional method.

In 2 weeks to 1 month, I will drain the olives and add a brine. I will be naturally fermenting the olives. I’ll make the brine using sea salt and pure water.  When I say pure water, I mean water that is not ordinary tap water. I mean water that has been filtered. Tap water has a way of making home cured foods get soft and the liquid the food is in get murky. The fermenting process takes 4 to 6 months. See what I mean about not being impatient?

Here is a link to the post about the Finished Olives!