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Yarrawonga – Rich Glen Olives: How to salt olives

 Idiosyncrasies, I have a few.
I hide money, sneak vegetables in between the pretty but ultimately pointless flowering plants in the front yard and can’t bring myself to throw out glass jars.   I refuse to change traditional family recipes, never pay full price for anything and spend ridiculous amounts of time preserving food that I could simply buy from the supermarket.
I may have hyphenated my name but I’m still a wog.
And this is why I visited Rich Glen Olives in Yarrawonga.  I need to pick some olives and appease my inner wog.
I was incredibly disappointed when we were told that they had a very bad year and there weren’t many olives to pick.   But they let us have a look around the grove anyway.
We stumbled across few rows of an experimental variety that they called UC’s, similar to a Spanish Queenie, which were perfect for salting rather than preserving with brine or pressing for oil.
What follows is my way of preserving olives and a path for finding and pacifying your inner wog.
What you’ll need
Black Olives (the fatter the better)
Salt
Buckets or big ice-cream containers if you really are a wog and refuse to waste money on something you can get for free
A fork
A headscarf
Method
Tie the headscarf around your head. Find a close family member and express to them your immense disappointment in their behaviour until you induce in them a feeling of extreme guilt.
Stab holes into the bottom of one container then place it into another container.
Stab each olive twice with a fork. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to invite some friends over for dinner, then pull the olives out between main and dessert. Trust me, people feel guilty when you feed them and they’ll readily agree to help.
Layer stabbed olives and salt into the container. The salt will draw the moisture and therefore the bitterness out of the olives and this liquid will drain into the bottom container.
The olives then need to be mixed every two days. Use your hands and don’t wear gloves. The salt is like an exfoliating scrub and the olives are full of oil the combination of which is like a free spa treatment for your hands. See something else for free!
Discard the liquid in the bottom bucket and add more salt until the mixture appears dry again.
The olives will be ready to eat in about 2 weeks. Try one every now and again and stop the process when they are no longer bitter. They can be kept in the fridge for about a month and then if they haven’t all been eaten they can be kept in the freezer in a zip lock bag for a year.
The olives look shrivelled like a sultana. To use soak in warm water until they become plump again. This will also remove some of their saltiness.
I often then marinate them in oil with chilli, garlic and oregano.
And no I won’t be making any changes to this recipe!

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