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Monday, October 24, 2011

Olive Update

The olives are coming along nicely.  They are starting to become that drab, olive green we are all so familiary with, some of them are even turning quite dark - almost black.  We tasted them last night, with salt, per Grandma Carbone's instructions.  They are almost ready for the brine but still just a bit too bitter. 

Purely out of curiosity, I visited the website this morning to see if any other varieties have become available and learned that the olive season ended officially last Friday.  I'm so glad I didn't wait to order.  Here is the official announcement:

 In looking over the recipes on the website today I learned that the ripe olives we are all most familiar with aren't ripe when they're cured either...hmm.  If you have a chance, you might enjoy visiting their site.  They carry a nice selection of cured olives, olive oils, pickles, etc. and there are curing recipes as well.  With our order, they sent us a sample of oil cured olives.  They were pitted and looked like extremely large raisins.  They had a whole different flavor altogether than any other olive I've ever eaten, but we thought they were delicious! 

I'll post again soon, once I've brined & sealed them.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Olives Are Here!

The olives arrived this past Thursday.  I was surprised to find that they were a lovely, bright green.  They are also hard as a rock and they smell tart - much like green apples.  I posted a couple photos on facebook (I've yet to figure out how to post them here with the current set up I have, but I'm working on it), feel free to check out the photos there, if you haven't already.

As soon as I was done taking photos, I started to smash them.  I don't have a kitchen mallet, so at first I used a can of chili.  That made a mess and I was afraid I was going to damage the can, so I started to slice them per the suggestion of my mom a few days before the olives arrived.  That was very tedious so I went back to smashing them.  I place several olives at a time between layers of a kitchen towel and used a hammer from my husband's tool bucket.  I'm pretty sure the idea is to just crack them open so they will soak more evening during the cure process, but I must admit I smashed some of them a bit too much.  After a bit though, I got into a nice rhythm and I don't expect any of them will be a lost cause.  I found a couple containers to put them in, then covered them with water.  I have been faithfully changing the water daily and will test them around day 8.  Grandma's instructions say 6-8 days but other folks who've cured olives at home have all said it really took a month, so I'm expecting it to take a bit longer. 

I'll post more on the olives as I have progress to report.  In the meantime, Ciao!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maria Carbone's Applesauce Cake Recipe

While we're waiting anxiously for the olives to arrive, we have trays and trays of apples drying in the dehydrator.  Usually in the fall, we've made applesauce with the apples from our trees, but this year, Steven decided to dehydrate them instead.  Since apples are such a fall staple and applesauce is such a popular way to preserve them, I thought you might enjoy a recipe to use up that applesauce (besides just serving it with pork chops)! This is one of the first recipes I sampled from Grandma's collection, and although I haven't made it for a couple years now, I do remember it is truly "V.G." As Josephine notes on the recipe "This cake is very easy to make & it's very good & moist".  I actually found 3 copies of this recipe, plus one labeled as Josephine Carbone's, which has just a couple minor differences and one that is so faded I can't make out the name that I'm almost certain is lurking in the upper left hand corner, but which is also noted "V.G." - this one calls for shortening & coffee.

Maria Carbone's Applesauce Cake

1 C oil
1 1/2 C sugar
3 C Flour
2 Tsp flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp salt
2 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp cloves
2 C applesauce
1 C raisins
1/2 C nuts (optional)
2 Tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients by hand.  Bake at 350 degrees, 35-40 min. or more depending on oven.

If you try this recipe (and I hope you will), please let me know how it turns out!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Olives Ordered

I just finished placing my order with for 10 pounds of Jumbo Sevillano olives.  They are shipping via FedEx Ground so it will take a few days for them to arrive from California - I can hardly wait!  Now to check our inventory of canning jars and pick up lids and rings.