Finding a cure

Almost 10 years ago, I decided to water-cure a large quantity of olives right before I left for my honeymoon. This involved draining the olives daily and resoaking them. I had to leave it all in the hands of my 11-year-old neighbor and—miraculously—they turned out well.

I got the idea from Fran Gage’s book Bread and Chocolate (Sasquatch Books, 2002), but I haven’t tried it again. This being prime olive country, I’d like to find some olives (anyone got a tree?) and try an oil cure. Fortunately, the UC Davis Olive Center is sponsoring a free class on Saturday, September 18.

There’s a walking tour of Chaffin Family Orchards in Oroville at 1 p.m. Then, at 6 p.m. at the Chico Grange, curing expert Don Landis will teach how to debitter an olive without the use of lye, including dry-salt curing, water curing, Greek-style curing and brining. Afterward, there will be an olive tasting. RSVP required, (530) 533-1676.