Panier of Plenty


One of the constants of life here is ‘trying things to see if
they work’. There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to
methods of preserving produce — just a starting point, and a
series of experiments to try and improve on a previous year’s
batch. The only test is ‘taste’ after all, and with fingers
crossed, this year’s first olive harvest is now sealed in jars,
awaiting the verdict.

Harvest from our single tree

Harvest from our single tree

Thyme and rosemary

Thyme and rosemary

Lemon zest and bay leaves

Lemon zest and bay leaves

Off to the cellar

Off to the cellar

Our tiny olives have been picked from a young tree in the walled
vegetable garden. Since early December they have been soaking in
water, changed each day to remove any bitterness, and will now be
stored in the ‘cave’ in ‘saumur’ (a brine solution: 1 litre of
water boiled with 25g of salt crystals and cooled) with herbs from
the garden (which have, so far, survived the frost). Although this
variety is small and usually pressed for oil, they preserve well
and are quite edible. The olives will stay soaking for around
three months before going into an infusion of olive oil (saved
from last year).

A larger variety (also ‘unknown’) from a neighbour’s tree are still
being washed — they are much fleshier and were picked a few weeks
later. The next project on the list, they will be ready to degust
in spring — left in the capable hands of ‘time and nature’…

This entry was published on January 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm. It’s filed under Country Life, Country Living, Cuisine, Environment, Europe, Ex Advertising Creative, Expat, Food, France, French Culture, Garden, Home, La Vie Quotidienne, Languedoc Roussillon, Leisure, Life, Lifestyle, Living in France, Mediterranean, Nature, New Zealander in France, Photography, Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rural Life, Seasons, South of France, Thoughts, Tree-change and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Experimenting

  1. Avec des rondelles ( bien fines ) de saucisson ça va être super pour l’apéro ! …

    A bientot .


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