Every October we look forward to the abundance of big, gorgeous olives from our four trees. This year we have a problem to contend with—some bug has been biting the fruit and leaving a mark. We picked a few quarts of olives and ran them through our normal processing and found that the bug bites don’t affect the quality of the finished product. The olives just have a tiny bit of that mouse-eaten, rat-chewed, bashed, pummeled-by-meteorites, shot-by-vandals look. Otherwise they taste great. Just don’t look at what you’re eating.
This afternoon Karla and I picked half a bucket-full. I dumped in a gallon of sodium hydroxide-infused dihydrogen monoxide to start the multi-part procedure that ends in edible olives. There are so very many olives left on the trees since we only picked the low-hanging fruit. Our main limitation is rounding up enough jars and lids so we can pack them and start distributing them to friends and neighbors.
It is so hugely satisfying to receive this gift of nature every year. We figured that we had planted the trees about 25 years ago. They were probably two or three years old then, so they have at least another thousand years of productive life. Some trees in the Mediterranean are supposed to be 2,000 to 3,000 years old according to this Wikipedia entry. I hope I don’t have to process olives for that long; I could get really tired of dealing with dihydrogen monoxide and sodium hydroxide.
And that’s no lye.