Olive picking, Lake Connewarre

We were recently invited olive picking by a friend who lives in the impressive Black Swan house, by Melbourne architect Kerstin Thompson.

It wraps long and low to the landscape and overlooks Lake Connewarre, near Ocean Grove. The owner has an olive grove on site, and asked us down for a picking session to clear the fruit from the trees.

Olives taste bitter bitter bitter off the tree and need to be soaked, salted and oiled up to get them to the tasty stage. The whole thing can take a couple of months. I am pretty much the laziest olive preparer ever. Don't follow my lead if you are a diligent person. If you look online you will find a whole bunch of olive prep instructions, including brining them and changing the water every day and scoring the olives with a knife individually. Who can be bothered?

I put the olives in an air-tight container, cover them in cold water, shake plenty o table salt into the water and seal container. If I remember I change the water, but generally I just forget about them for a couple of months. They will get a yucky film on top, which you can just wash off and is normal.

Once a month or two has gone by, taste an olive to see if it resembles the flavour you get in the deli. It can be a little too bitter, as you are going to let them sit a while longer. Then I mix up a solution of olive oil, water (about half half), fennel seeds, plenty of sea salt, birds-eye chillis, lemon wedges, lemon leaves and garlic slices. I put the rinsed olives in that and then put the mix in clean jam jars. I put them away in the cupboard until they taste good (usually another few weeks).


Post a Comment



Anna Metcalfe is a content maker, word writer and editor of things.