Monday, October 18, 2010

Bitter Fruit

My husband is curing olives. Lord, help us.

18 years ago, we bought a house in Pasadena with 20 olive trees. I tried curing olives several times but only succeeded in making expensive inedible drek. After two experiments two years in a row, I realized it was much cheaper to just purchase the damned things. And they tasted so much better!

We sold the Pasadena house and move to Palm Springs. There’s an olive tree in the courtyard which is primarily for show and shade. It provides an abundant crop of olives every two years. In Pasadena, the ripening olives presented a real hazard on the walkways and drive. In Palm Springs, the olives fall off the tree and immediately dry out. They turn into black gravel within a day.

Two years ago, my husband decided to try his hand at curing olives. My husband is a physician, after all. That does NOT mean he can cure olives… His cured olives were dreadful! His patient died. Those pitiful olives showed up on the hors d’ oeuvres tray for weeks! No one touched them other than My Doctor.

I took to tossing out a tablespoon of olives every couple of days to give the appearance of their being eaten. That worked although I still had to endure the grimaces of unsuspecting friends biting into those dreadful olives until I’d disposed of the last to them.

This year, our olive tree has totally disregarded the economy and produced an incredible abundance of olives. My Doctor again decided to attempt a cure.

The instructions said to use a glass, ceramic or porcelain container. He used plastic water bottles. The instructions said to use rock salt. He used table salt. The instructions said to soak the olives for three weeks. He’s going on week five.

The first “batch” of olives is not too bitter. They leave a bad after taste but the garlic and lemon overpower it. There are four more batches to follow. They are improving with practice.

I do hope My Doctor gets it right. I love olives and it would be great to have home-cured olives to munch on during happy hour.

If you are within a 15 mile radius of us, beware! Hanukkah is upon us!

Our olives may have an aftertaste, but my artwork does not! This is an awkward way to ask you to take a look at my artwork which has nothing to do with Olives! Please take time to visit my website at

Take a look at my artwork. Contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you (include your contact info!). You can e-mail me at or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3157.

You can call me. I won’t mind; I’m hanging out at the gallery with nothing to do. That’s totally untrue. I’m weaving while minding the store.

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