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Curing Olives at Home, Part II

This post is a continuation of this one on how to brine olives at home.

My olives went from this:


To this:


To see the process, keep reading by selecting the link below.

As you may recall from the earlier post, I was late on buying olives so the ones I ended up with were really small and a lot of them were bruised.

I used the salt-and-water method to brine them, as opposed to lye. Using Karen Solomon's book I slit the olives, made brine, and covered the olives with a heavy plate to weigh them down.

I checked on them once a week and changed the water, which gets really gross and moldy like this after the first week:

Moldy week 1s

and this after the second:


By the third week, they tasted done- not bitter. I think they finished brining so quickly (some recipes say three weeks, Solomon's book says six) because they're so small; more pit than meat. But they're extra tasty because I made them myself.

I rinsed them and put them in jars with new brine (with half the amount of salt), but not until I took more pictures.

Olives closeup2s

So, now I have to try some experiments with flavoring them for my drinks. I am thinking:

  • Trying to pit them and stuff them (though initial experiments have been big failures)
  • Using smoked salt brine to make them taste smoky
  • Brining them in vermouth
  • Brining them with orange juice or lemon juice, and orange bitters
  • Trying to get olives with pits in them 
Other suggestions?
Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.