If you are making a recipe which requires pitted black olives, and all you can find are the horrible ones in tins and in brine – this is what to do. Even if you can find the dried Crespi pitted black olives, this method will improve their flavour, and you also avoid the chipped-tooth-guest risk.

On the other hand, if you’re reading this post because you’re interested in the beloved-training aspect, you’ll want to know that I got this idea from an intriguing article by Amy Sutherland entitled What Shamu taught me about a happy marriage. The author had a marriage which was faltering a little. One of the problems she explains was that her husband “hovers around me in the kitchen asking if I read this or that piece in The New Yorker when I’m trying to concentrate on the simmering pans”. The result of these peccadilloes was that she felt she “wanted – needed- to nudge him a little closer to perfect, to make him into a mate who might annoy me a little less….”. Her main strategy in this regard was to nag, and it will come as no surprise to the reader to discover that it was not a successful one. Then she started researching for a book about a school for exotic animal trainers, and she began to wonder whether techniques effective in persuading hyenas to pirouette and baboons to skateboard, might also be put to good use in the training of a more domestic animal, this particular one being what an animal trainer would describe as ‘food-driven’.

Putting into practice a theory of ‘incompatibility behaviour’ (read the article, it’s very funny and useful) she manages to train her husband not to get in her way while she is cooking by carefully placing a bowl of chips and salsa on the other side of the room….

BUT…. if she’d used these miracle marinated black olives the results might have been even more immediate and impressive. Or even black olives and salami… never fails!

 

Method for miracle marinated black olives

 

  1. You should sterilise the glass jar before you put anything into it – to find out how, follow this link.

  2. Drain the tin, and put the olives in a glass jar with some crushed peeled garlic cloves, and fresh rosemary, bay and, thyme and small chunks of lemon, or lemon rind (get lemon which hasn’t been sprayed with all kinds of chemicals).

  3. Top up with olive oil.

  4. You can add some pink and green peppercorns as well if you like – I tend not to use them as they are hard to fish out, but they look rather attractive. 

 

As an interesting aside, the ‘Kilner Jar’ (used in the photograph below) with its glass top, rubber seal, and the metal pressure-asserting fasting is the modern version of an ancient method of storing food, the glasse botel, which was sterilised in the household’s bread oven and stoppered with a wax cork.

When you’ve used the olives, don’t throw away the oil – use it in dressings, on cooked pasta, or to make tomato sauce. Be aware though that it will have a strong taste of olives.

 

In the event that even black olives don’t do the trick there is a whole armoury of other suggestions at my tapas blog.

 

 

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