Autumn is truly upon us. The wind is colder (which I love!) and the earth is still warm, making the perfect time to go out between rain showers and collect your olives. Depending on the variety you have there will be varying degrees of ripeness. I collect olives from the neighbourhood verges and the abundant trees in my orchard.
Last year instead of brining my olives I scored and salted them. This year, I'm doing the same but will do a large batch with the seeds removed. This is the machine that I'm using. Once de-seeded you put them into a cotton bag tht has handles, put in the olives and sea salt. Use enough to coat all of the olives. Close the top of the bag and hang so that the juice can drain and no insects can get in. Of course, you will need a bucket. I used a 10 litre bucket but changed quickly to a 20 litre one when I notice the salted olive juice splashing onto the wall.
Once the olives have finished releasing their juices - approx 3-4 days, and the outside of the bag has a beautiful crust on it. Keep this olive infused salt for cooking. If you are planning to keep the salt, it's another good reason why it's important to use good quality. I like to keep my olives in extra virgin olive oil when the seeds are inside them. I'm experimenting this year and leaving some pitless ones just salted and the ones with pits in oil. I'd be interested to hear what you prefer. I'll be picking my olives during April though to ANZAC Day, when it's time to stop and remember my grandparents.