Curing Olives

Well…I have an amazing tree. It was planted about 9 years ago. It’s so pretty, even if it is growing on an angle, and it has only produced 8 fruit in all that time. My olive tree has given me 6 fruits this year and two last year.

So, I am thankful for my crop swapping page on Facebook. I swapped 2.5 kilos of mixed olives for some grape vine cuttings and some lemons and limes. If you don’t already, start to grow some of your own food. It’s so incredibly rewarding.

I have done lots of reading and seemed advice from others who have done it, but here’s how I have, and they taste delicious.

Marinated Olives Black/Greenblack

Olives (pick out soft, bruised or damaged ones)

I used spring water in a ten litre bottle

Red/white wine vinegar (I had no red so used apple cider vinegar. I hope it works out ok)

Sea salt (don’t use anything with anticaking agents or iodisedsalt)



Olive oil

So, you cut a slit on each side of the olive and try hard not to reach the seed. This helps the water get into the olive to soften the bitterness of the olive.

Find yourself a clean container, and pop the olives in.

Fill to the top with the water.

I had some popping up above the water line so I used an old ten litre water bottle and cut a piece that fit on the top of the olives. I pushed it below the water line and it kept them down.

I did  his for 13 Days…make sure you change the water every day. I generally did it in the morning.

I drained the water on the 13th day, rinsed them, and then added the brine.

1 litre of spring water

Half cup sea salt(mix that in until dissolved, or almost dissolved)

1 cup red  wine vinegar for the dark olives and

Half cup white wine vinegar for the green/black olives

I threw some bay leaves, rosemary and garlic into the bottle and poured the brine over the olives.

pour some olive oil over the top of it all. I put about half an inch in.

Make sure the  olives and herbs are under the brine (this is where I used the plastic cut out to push them down)

Store in a dark cool place for a month. They should be ready by then.

Apparently they can keep for up to a year. It haven’t tested the theory out, but once I start using them I will leave them in the fridge.

I am trying to get my hands on more olives at the moment to do some more.

Until next time

Lots of it




More Preserving and THE Birthday Week

I am quite into preserving foods at the moment. Whilst I have lemons and limes growing on my tree, I figure it’s a good idea to preserve them for during periods where I haven’t any on the trees at all. I plan on doing some salt preserved lemons, as I tried last year, but thought I will invest in a food dehydrator and preserve some that way. I must admit I was a tad scared leaving it on 24/7 so I didn’t, but had it on for much of the time and it took 2 days. A lng time to listen to the whirring of it, but it was worth it. Lemons for the chickens and for tea when I’m feel g NFL draft for lean flavoured tea. And my, it looks so pretty.

I’ve been preserving a few other thing but I will write about them next time.

Th s week we have had a big birthday week. Cameron was 24 on Monday, Jessica was 27 on Thursday and the twins turned 16 on Thursday. A busy week filled with glorious bushwalk sin the gorgeous blue mountains w and lunch at the Grand View Hotel at Wentworth Falls. Out to dinner at the plaza n thursdanight after a wonderful afternoon party with all the family, and then finishing off a busy few days with a relaxing at the movies seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2. A wonderful movie, which we have gone to see twice..big marvel fans here.

That’s it for now. I will leave you with some little snaps of the Charles Darwin bushwalk at Wentworth Falls.

Until next time

Lots of it




I have become a lover of fermented foods. I love fermented veg and buying it at $18 a jar is a tad expensive. Convenient, and I do sometimes buy it (like yesterday because I haven’t been overly organised of late)! It is very easy to create your own.

All you need is some sterilised jars and lids, half a cabbage (I use pesticide free), some sea salt, and some vegetable culture/starter. I got one from my local health food store yesterday and it makes 100 kilo of veg or yoghurt or juice. It cost $15.

Chop up the Vegies finely and rub the sea salt into it well( I used a couple of level teaspoons for the half of cabbage, and about 24 “spins” of the grinder for the other Vegies).it will create some juice. Por a small amount of the culture over it (follow the directions on the pack).

Pack it into the jar making sure the veg is covered by the juice. I fold up a washed bit of cabbage leaf and lace it on the top to keep the veg submerged in the juice. I popped a silicon pickling pipe over the top of some of mine, but also just used a wide mouth bell jar.

Hopefully it works…it has before…

I used some veg that I got in a produce swap as well.

I popped it into the esky and will leave it for two weeks.

You can see some other goodies in the esky…I will write up a recipe for the other things later in the week.

Would love to hear if you’ve given this a try, or maybe you can share some delicious combinations of Vegies…

Until next time

Mandy xxx

Food Produce Swapping

Recently on Facebook I have started a food produce swap group. It basically is where people offer up any excess food they have grown in their garden for a swap of something someone else has excess of. Simple right. We are only a small group at the moment but already there have been seed swap offers and someone has offered to do a workshop showing how to raise seeds and start your garden.

I had two swaps yesterday, my first since starting the group.

We are very lucky to have a huge mandarin tree that grows fruit like crazy.

I swapped a half a box of mandarins and a handful of oranges for two jars of pickles and a jar of organic chicken stock concentrate.




The person I swapped with will eat the fruit and she also plans on making some marmalade.

Last night I had another swap.

A large bag of mandarins for curry, Rosemary, and bay leaves, and these gorgeous eggs.


It’s a goal of mine to try and swap as much as possible to minimise purchasing from the shops.

Not only did I have a swapping kind of day, I also got busy in the kitchen.

I made some marinated Danish feta and some fermented lemonade.

The feta was so simple. I popped about half a kilo of chopped up feta into some sterilised bell jars. I then warmed a 500ml organic olive oil in a pot, with some rosemary and garlic. Poured that over the top of the cheese and sealed it.Let it cool and popped it into the fridge.


I also had lots of lemons that were just on the verge of needing to be thrown out…the last of our lemons…I squeezed them all and popped the juice aside.

I heated 6 cups of filtered water and added about 1/3 cup of coconut sugar and a small amount of white sugar (will omit this n st time and have the cocnut sugar) , I then whisked in half a cup of whey (squeezed half a kilo tub of plain yoghurt through a slightly damp teatowel) and one cup of lemon juice. Poured that into sealable bottles. I will leave it for a while and hopefully it will ferment. Trouble is, the colour is kind of dark because of the coconut sugar being quite dark.


Ok…..that’s it for now…I am starting an online art course today and can’t wait…will keep you posted…

until next time

Mandy xxx