Plenty of olives are forming on the tree...
SAM HRISTOFIS FAMILY SULTANA OLIVE RECIPE
This is a 'secret family' recipe that uses no water to soak the olives and produces intensely flavoured preserved olives without the mess of soaking.
Get a 10kg bucket and drill 1/4" holes (as many a you like) in the lid and the base.
Get ripe Kalamata olives and put a layer in the bottom of the bucket (approx 3" deep)
Throw in a handful of rock salt over top of this layer.
Continue olive then salt layer to the top of the bucket or until you run out of olives.
Put on lid and leave for 24 hours.
Turn bucket over. Leave for another 24 hours and turn bucket over again.
Repeat this daily until the 4th day.
Open bucket and taste an olive to check bitterness (some people may like bitter olives and can stop at this stage).
If olives are still too bitter for your taste - continue. If salt seems to have dissolved add about 3 or 4 handsful of rock salt on top of olives.
Continue turning bucket to 10 days checking on bitterness and stop when olives are to your taste.
Usually olives have reached their optimum taste after 10 to 14 days. Keep adding salt if salt has dissolved.
NOTE: olive juice will seep out over this time so make sure bucket is outside.
Olives will be wrinkled - hence the name 'Sultana Olives' and their taste will be intense.
Once olives are to your taste, wash thoroughly in fresh cold water until all salt is removed.
Put olives in zip-lock bags and keep in freezer until you need them. Olives will keep for years in the freezer.
Take a bag from the freezer and let thaw naturally. (Do not put in water, microwave etc)
Put olives in container and add 50:50 oil and vinegar to cover (oil of your choice and vinegar of your choice - Sam of course chooses his best olive oil and often uses balsamic vinegar but you can experiment here with different oils and vinegars)
Add herbs of your choice - basil, chilli, garlic, oregano, lemon, dill.
The beauty of Sam's recipe is that each zip-lock bag can be made up separately as you need it and each can be flavoured separately so you can have plain or flavoured olives all year round.