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!