This past weekend saw a great picking of olives and quinces.
It was our olive trees ‘off’ year and so we ended up with abut 7kg of small olives without much flesh. A great year to experiment! One batch, green and small, I processed using the dry-salt method described by Maggie Beer in Maggie’s Harvest. She mentions that this intensifies the flavour of wild olives which I’m guessing these essentially are having had no feeding or watering this year. One batch of larger, purple olives I decided to try Black Olives Recipe #2 from Preserving the Italian Way by Pietro Demaio. In doing so I used the last of my preserved lemon so will be looking forward to when our own lemons ripen.
A third batch, again green, has been done according to Pietro’s Olives in Oil and a fourth batch following his Preserving Olives in Brine recipe. Most of our neighbours, whether Greek, Italian or Lebanese, seem to follow a variation on one of these two.
I’m planning quince paste for the quinces. From all accounts it will give me a chance to try out my new welding gloves! I did get them all de-fuzzed and cleaned on the weekend but ran out of time to actually start cooking. Quince paste is a good four-five hour stretch in the making. All in all it was a solid day’s work with washing, weighing and the rest. I’d like to do the quince as soon as possible but am still recovering from the exigencies of olive preparations!