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Wednesday, 4 September 2013

GREEK OLIVES

Good Morning to you,


Life is returning to normal after the Summer Break.  Children are returning to school after their long summer holidays and I met with my good friends from my sewing group yesterday.  It was so lovely to see everyone, as  we all had lots to catch up on.

When I returned home,  it was lunch time.  George had gone for a swim and a sauna, so I was on my own for lunch. I was hungry when I arrived home and I needed  to assemble my lunch very quickly, before I reached for the biscuit barrel.  I found some olives, Feta Cheese and I had some fresh crusty bread.  Simple food but full of flavour and it certainly hit the spot.

I think you either love olives or you hate them, there seems to be no in between..... personally I love them. 

As you know, we used to grow olives when we lived in Cyprus. We would harvest some of the olives during November, whilst the olives were still green and before they turned into rich black olives. I would then preserve them by turning them into cracked olives (tsakistes).  George discovered a great way of cracking the olives, he would use a large flat stone as a base, where he would place the olive and then he would use a smaller flat stone to carefully crack open each olive, these two flat stones were perfect tools.  Mind you, it did take a long time, as he had to avoid cracking open the olive stone and one word of warning if you try this yourself, olive juice stains, so don't wear good clothes. After George had finished cracking the olives, I then soaked the olives in water for 2 weeks, making sure, each day, I changed the water, until the olives lost their bitterness.  When they were ready, I placed the olives in a large container, I then made a brine to cover the olives and  we enjoyed olives all winter long and into the spring.

Today I am going to show you how I jazz up plain olives, it is the same method as I used to do for the cracked olives (tsakistes) when I removed them from the brine. Now that I am living in England, I do not have  olive trees in my garden, so if I don't have the time to go to the market, then I will buy a jar.  Normally I buy olives with their stones intact as I feel they give a much better flavour, but I could not find any..... isn't that always the way, so on this occasion, I settled for some Greek olives stuffed with pimento, and this is what I did,


don't they look appetising.


So it is on with the apron, yes even for this small task, as I have my nice clothes on and I don't want to be splattered with olive oil. There is no music for you to enjoy today, as I am listening to Radio 2 and The Steve Wright Show.... he plays lots of old and new songs and he has a fabulous sense of humour.

INGREDIENTS


350g  jar of olives in brine


1 lemon


1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of oregano


1 tablespoon of wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil

METHOD


Drain the olives and rinse under cold water


Place in a bowl and set aside


Thinly slice a garlic clove


Quarter the lemon
then


thinly slice one quartered lemon


Remove the oregano from the stem and crush a little
as you do not want large pieces of oregano.
If you are using shop bought oregano then add
1 1/2 tablespoons and there will be no need
to crush the oregano  as it will be very fine.


 Add  the lemon, garlic and oregano to the olives in the bowl


In a separate bowl mix together the 
wine vinegar and olive oil


and add to the olives, garlic, oregano, 
then toss together

I then put the olives into a larger glass jar and I keep them in my store cupboard until needed.  Try not to eat the olives on the day you make them, give them a day or so, for the flavours to develop.

If you prefer you can keep them in the fridge, but remember to take them out a couple of hours before you want to eat them, as you certainly do not want to eat cold olives.

In place of oregano you can use crushed coriander seeds, you can also add chillies if you like a bit of heat.

The amounts I have given you for the olives, are personal to our taste, you might like to increase the amount of wine vinegar or olive oil, you might like to use one of the quartered lemons to add extra lemon flavour. It is really up to you, but what I would say, is try the way I have shown you first, then you can add or subtract as needed.

Oh and by the way...... I thought I would reassure you,  yes, there were the odd one or two olives left for George to enjoy when he returned home.

On Sunday, I will show you how I used the three remaining quartered lemons.

Take care and I will see you later in the week. 

This week I will be joining,


and




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