Headed North to hometown Irbid yesterday for two reasons, buying olives ,since it’s the season to pickle them,from the same guy we buy each year on the road before reaching Jerash and then to go visit my lovely cousin and have lunch with our dear family members.
To tell you the truth I’ve been making olives only recently , used to be my mother in-law’s annual ritual specialty but since two years ago ,as she says, retired from the mission so I’ve been doing it her way and send her share.
Pickling olives is a very easy process but needs a day work and messes your kitchen a bit specially if you’re making large amounts. First you must pick the kind of olives you like,some people prefer big ones some son’t,I usually buy local kind (نبالي بلدي),then you must press it either manually or in a special machine usually found at the shop or seller.
You can find many ways and methods to pickle olives in books or by experience or in factories, personally I found this method the easiest and always works with me.
Wash olives well,try to remove leaves and stems as much as you can, then soak them in water overnight or two , the next day wash again then mix them with a good amount of sliced lemons,hot peppers and lemon juice. Make the pickling brine which is exactly one big spoon of coarse local salt to each cup of water ( each liter of water needs 4 big spoons of salt), put olives in big glass or plastic jars then fill with salted water to the rim,close tightly and leave till done.
*Note: olives might take a longer period of time to be ready this way (a month maybe) if you want to be ready earlier you must soak it in water and replace it each day for a week then pickle it.
*Note: a tip to make sure your brine is perfect,place a raw egg in it,if it floats to the top then it’s good if it sinks then you need to add more salt.
* Note: usually I remove some of the olives when done, make a new salt solution and add new lemon and peppers, that way it’ll always be fresh and green.
Well now back to yesterday’s lunch, it was AMAZING ,elegant table,delicious food,various dishes and most important of all good loving caring company, I’m so lucky to have such kind generous loving cousins in my family.
Dishes were: Mansaf,lasagna,rolled steaks,sauteed veggies,chicken pie and a salad, dessert was chocolate cake,yummy coconut balls (took the recipe and will make it soon) and I made my Almond Orange cake, even coffee and tea tasted great believe me.
Thank you a lot my dear Um Tareq,hope all your days be filled with joy and good health.