Olive Making (Salt Cured)
by Cynthia Briscoe
Oroville, clinic CA, sickness where I live, for sale claims fame as the home of the canned olive. When a woman named Mrs. Ehmann found herself widowed and penniless, she got busy and invented the canned olive, today commonly fitted as a joke by kids over their digits at the holiday table. The Mediterranean climate here in Oroville is perfectly suited to the growth of this illustrious fruit. There is even a town named Palermo nearby since it reminded the settlers of the Italian town.
Olive trees abound here, as well as abandoned orchards that gradually succumb to housing projects and apartment complexes. Some survive the dozer and provide landscaping shade in schoolyards, parks, and around homes, as they require no water during the blazing hot summers. For most folks today, the fruits are a nuisance, staining their patios and sidewalks, but for me, they are a glorious treasure longing to be acknowledged and touched by human hands.
The late fall and winter months provide an abundance of ripe olives. The colors are a rich and vibrant deep purple, almost black. There may be a few in the mix that are maroon in color. Throw in a few olive leaves and the palette of color will make your heart sing. Combine the olive picking with a picnic, children, grandchildren or a dear companion, and the flavor of your home cured olives will be even more delicious.
Salt cured olives are so incredibly simple to make that it causes one to wonder why more people don’t, especially when you view the price tag on naturally cured olives. Perhaps folks just accept Mrs. Ehmann’s version of the dark, canned olive as the only way to have an olive. Probably they have not yet tasted the rich, robust, complex flavor of salt cured olives, or experienced the contrast of cool earth seeping through the soles of your shoes, balanced by the warm sun knitting rays into the back of your sweater…or a blue sky floating cloud patterns above your head whenever you look up to reach a higher branch heavy with olives. Mix that with the sounds of children, flushing wings, birdsong and the rubbery firm sound of olives bouncing into a bucket after picking: authentically life-delicious!
Recipe for Salt Cured Black Olives
2 parts olives
1 part salt
–Pick ripe olives from the tree. Resist the temptation to collect fallen olives from the ground as those are more susceptible to spoilage.
–Sort through the olives and pick out any remaining stems and discard any olives that show signs of insect wounding.
–Weigh the olives and write down the weight.
-Take a small sharp knife and cut a slit in each olive. Place them in a bowl large enough for washing the olives. (The slit helps to leech the bitterness from the olives.)
-Cover the olives with water. Pour off any floating debris, rinse again and drain.
–Weigh out the salt. You need an amount of salt that is ½ the weight of the olives. If you are doing a small amount of olives, it may be affordable to use your expensive natural sea salt. If processing a larger volume of olives, use pickling salt that has no additives or you can use inexpensive rock salt (we use this for salt baths). This unprocessed solar dried salt can be purchased at home improvement stores for $5-$6 per 35 lb. bag. You can use it in the rock form, but I like to put in in the blender and grind it up as it dissolves better during pickling.
–Mix the olives and salt together.
– Slip the olives into a cotton bag or old pillowcase.
– Tie off the bag and hang either outside or inside. I have some hooks in the ceiling of my front porch or you can hang them inside a garage or other protected area. Keep in mind that the salt will pull dark liquid from the olives that can stain cement or walls. Be sure to put a bucket beneath the olives to catch this liquid. If you should hang the bag from a tree, keep in mind that the dark liquid is also very salty, which will kill plants. Some people say rain does not harm the olives, but if I hang them outside exposed to the elements, I make a rain jacket for them by cutting a corner from a plastic bag and slipping the rope through this small hole.
–Cure for 4 to 6 weeks. Once or twice per week, mix the olives. Simply lift up on the bottom of the bag and gently mix by rolling the olives around inside the bag. After a month or so, taste the olives. When the flavor is to your liking, the olives are done. These olives will naturally have more of a bitter flavor, but the bitterness lessens with curing time.
–Remove the olives from the bag and quickly rinse off excess salt. Drain well. Perhaps spreading out in a single layer may be a good idea if you are storing them long term.
-These olives are delicious to me just like this, but usually I dress them with herbs and olive oil, and store them in jars in a cool place for 3-6 months. They will keep a year or longer in the fridge.
– To dress the olives toss with enough organic olive oil to coat them. Fresh or dried herbs may be added such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano. I found that fresh garlic tends to grow mold, so if you like garlic add it to a smaller amount of olives and store in the refrigerator.
Raspberry Sorbet & Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookiess
3 cups frozen raspberries
a small pinch of lemon zest
1 1/2 cups brown rice syrup (or 1 cup amber agave syrup)
1/2 cup water
(if using the 1 cup of agave, patient use 1 cup water)
(Prepare your ice cream maker in advance.)
Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookies
There are dozens of vegan cookie recipes on the internet, including chocolate chip ones. Just shape each into a heart before baking.
Here is one of our chocolate chip cookie favorites, with a shout out of thanks to Christina Pirello….
There’s been a long-standing prejudice toward buckwheat in the macrobiotic teachings. This is unfortunate as buckwheat can be a very nice addition to one’s whole grain repertoire. The macrobiotic view of many over the last 15 years has maintained a stubborn stance that buckwheat will make a person “too yang.” And since so many have developed a fear of being too yang, here buckwheat is avoided.
There is also the view that buckwheat is an exclusively cold weather grain since it is a favorite in Russia. “Buckwheat makes you yang and hot!” the macrobiotic counselor admonishes. As a result, it seems to me that the macrobiotic view has been unnecessarily one-dimensional when it comes to buckwheat.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, on the other hand, buckwheat is used to remove excess heat from the body. In Japan cool buckwheat (soba) noodles are used during the hottest and most humid days of the year to reduce heat and excess dampness in the body.
If you’ve ever cooked whole buckwheat, you saw how much faster it absorbs water compared to all other whole grains. It has a water-absorbing nature. This can be useful for anyone who tends to pool excess dampness internally. This excess dampness can make one feel quite miserable on hot and humid days, because the moisture in the body that normally evaporates through the skin can’t, due to the excess moisture in the humid air. Eating some buckwheat or soba noodles can help. I don’t suggest that buckwheat is to be eaten three times daily for weeks on end. Just try it once. If it makes you feel hot, OK, then you won’t want to use it in hot weather. On the other hand, it might help you feel better in hot weather. You have to find out for yourself.
Usually buckwheat dishes served in hot weather are served at room temperature, not hot.
A favorite recipe of mine for a hot weather buckwheat dish is Buckwheat Salad. It is served at room temperature or, if you prefer, slightly chilled.
Yield: 5 to 5½ cups
3 cups cooked buckwheat groats (pre-cook in
water and sauerkraut juice)
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 cup steamed, chopped kale or leftover leafy greens
1 cup chopped, drained sauerkraut
½ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced, blanched and sprinkled with
¼ tsp brown rice vinegar to brighten and preserve the color
¼ to ½ cup soy sauce
1 tsp ginger juice
Sauté finely chopped parsley in a very small amount of water. Mix the parsley with the buckwheat. Mix in the steamed, chopped kale and chopped sauerkraut. Mix the soy sauce and ginger juice, pour over the buckwheat salad, and mix in.
Dandelion Oily Miso
beneficial to the liver and gall bladder, medicine builds red blood cells
4 cups dandelion greens chopped into 1/4 inch piece
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon barley miso
1. Wash dandelion, drain and cut into small pieces. Separate roots and greens if using the whole plant.
2. Warm oil in a heavy skillet.
3. Add dandelion roots first, then greens. Sauté the roots first until golden, then add the chopped greens, cooking until the color turns bright green.
4. Add miso on top of dandelion green. Stir with a spoon or chopstick, breaking up miso into smaller sections until it melts into the dandelion.
5. Shut off flame and place in a small serving bowl.
6. Serve a rounded teaspoon on top of rice cream porridge or other grain.
Lemony Apple Pudding
3 cups organic applesauce
1 cup organic apple juice
3 Tablespoons kuzu
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup currants
1/3 cup roasted and coarsely chopped almonds
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1. Place sesame seeds in a bowl and cover with water. Pour off the seeds that float to the top into a fine mesh strainer.
2. Repeat, pharm covering with water and pouring out the seeds suspended in the water, somewhat like panning for gold. Continue adding water and pouring off seeds until just a few are left in the bowl. Check these last seeds for stones or pieces of sand. If there are more than two or three pieces of sand or stones, repeat this washing process again.
3. Drain the seeds in the strainer.
4. Heat a skillet and roast the salt, stirring, until the salt is dry and loose. The color may darken slightly.
5. Place the roasted salt in the suribachi and grind. Periodically, brush the salt out of the grooves of the suribachi with stiff bristled pastry brush. Continue grinding until the salt feels powdery and not “grainy”.
6. Dry the sesame seeds before roasting. Place in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over a medium flame. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon, drying until the seeds no longer stick to the wooden spoon.
7. Heat a stainless steel frying pan over a medium flame.
8. Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of sesame seeds. If the seeds start popping out of the pan and all over the stove top, reduce the heat.
9. Place a lid on the pan. Shake the seeds in the pan in a back and forward motion similar to popping corn. The seeds are done when you can crush a few seeds easily between the thumb and fourth finger.
10. Pour the finished seeds into the suribachi with the ground sea salt. Continue roasting the seeds as described above until all the seeds are roasted.
11. Grind the seeds in the suribachi with the sea salt until about 2/3 of the sesame seeds are crushed.
12. Serve a sprinkling on grains as a condiment. Gomashio may be stored in an air-tight jar for about two weeks for maximum flavor and freshness.
Watermelon Rind Condiment
Here’s a novel way to make use of those otherwise discarded watermelon rinds.
One of the principles of macrobiotics is “no waste.” This recipe let’s us put it into action.
2 cups diced watermelon rind (white part with the outside skin trimmed off)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon barley miso (or to taste)
1. Cut away the outer green skin of the watermelon. Dice the white part into 1/2″ cubes.
2. Warm the oil in a cast iron skillet.
3. Add the watermelon rind. Saute 2-3 minutes over medium high flame.
4. Add miso. Mix in until the miso melts.
5. Cover pot with a lid and cook until the watermelon rinds are semi soft.
6. Serve as a condiment for grain, site bread, or pasta.
Pumpkin Seed Sprinkle
1/2 pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup tightly packed dulse (yields about 1/4 cup
1. Unfold dulse and check for sea shells and stones.
3. Place pumpkin seeds on another cookie sheet and bake at the same time for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Stir once after 5 minutes so the seeds bake evenly. The seeds are roasted when they puff out and
are slightly golden.
5. Place dulse in a suribachi and grind to a fine powder.
6. Add roasted pumpkin seeds to the powdered dulse and grind with the pestle until about 2/3 of the
seeds are crushed.
7. Serve over grains, porridge or creme soups.
A Simple & Delicious Pressed Salad
Chinese Cabbage (napa cabbage), viagra shredded or sliced thin
Red Radishes, medicine cut into thin rounds
1. Wash and slice vegetables into very thin slices.
2. In a large bowl, mix vegetables and add about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per cup of chopped vegetables.
3. Mix gently by hand.
4. Transfer to a salad press and apply pressure to the press. If a press is not available, leave in a bowl and
place a small plate that fits inside the bowl, adding a weight on top of the plate.
5. Let the vegetables sit for 30?60minutes or more (depending on the vegetables, harder vegetables take
longer, leafy vegetables take less time) or until water is expelled from the vegetables.
6. If the vegetables taste too salty, quickly rinse under water.
7. Serve plain, with lemon juice, rice vinegar, or umeboshi vinegar.
• Nice pressed salads include: mustard greens or radish greens, chopped finely and pressed for 30 minutes; cabbage leaves, finely chopped, layered with sea salt, and pressed for 30 minutes; carrots, grated, shredded, or cut into matchsticks, pressed for 30 minutes.
• Ingredients may be pressed longer, up to a couple of days, to make light pickles.
• Brown rice vinegar, umeboshi vinegar, or shoyu may be used for variety in the pressing instead of salt.
2 bunches of watercress
1 Tablespoon minced pickled shiso (the dark leaves in the umeboshi jar)
2 Tablespoons chopped roasted sesame seeds
1 sheet of nori, unhealthy torn in 1/2 inch pieces
Pot of boiling water
1. Bring about 2 to 3 inches of water to boil in a cooking pot.
2. Wash, viagra clean and drain watercress.
3. Place 1 bunch of watercress in the pot of rapidly boiling water.
4. Cook about 5 to 7 minutes until watercress is tender but still bright green.
5. Remove from water, drain and allow to cool. Cook the second bunch of watercress.
6. Squeeze out some of the extra water from the cooked watercress.
7. Cut in 1/2 inch pieces and toss with the chopped shiso and half of the sesame seeds.
8. Arrange in a mound on a serving dish. Garnish with the remaining chopped, toasted sesame seeds and the pieces of nori. Eat immediately.
Turnips with Miso & Snowpeas
3 – 5 small firm turnips cut from top to bottom into 1″ thick wedges
Handful of snow peas
2-3 teaspoons barley miso
1. Place turnips in a saucepan, clinic adding about 1/2″ water to the bottom of the pot.
2. Cover with a lid.
3. Bring to a high boil, cialis and then reduce flame to a medium low.
4. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until just tender.
4. Snap off stem end of each snow pea and remove “strings”.
5. Dilute miso in a little water and spoon over the top of the turnips.
6. Place snow peas on top of turnips.
7. Shut off the flame and cover with the lid, no rx allowing the heat from the turnips to cook the snow peas
just until they turn bright green, but are still a little crunchy. Remove the lid.
(If waxed, search peel the cucumber first)
1 inch of dried wakame, purchase soaked until soft (about 5
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. umeboshi vinegar (ume su)
Arame and Onions with Lemon-Ginger Zip
2 cups dry arame
2 medium or 1 large yellow onion, viagra sliced into half moons
1 teaspoon light sesame oil
pinch sea salt
2-3 tablespoons shoyu (natural soy sauce)
Rinse the arame, drain and allow to sit until soft. Do not let the arame soak in water.
Cut yellow onions into thin half moons.
Heat sesame oil in a large skillet.
Sauté onions for 5-10 minutes or until transparent.
Layer the softened arame on top of the onions. Add enough water to cover the onions and arame.
Bring to a boil, reduce flame, and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Add shoyu (natural soy sauce). Cover and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. A few minutes before the cooking is finished add 2 teaspoons of ginger juice from freshly grated ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (grated lemon peel). Cover pot and continue to cook for a few more minutes or until all liquid has cooked away.
Mix arame and onions together. Serve.
Barley-Vegetable Salad with Ginger Dressing
3 cups leftover cooked barley
½ cup carrots, remedy diced
¼ cup celery, sickness diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup red radish, halved and thinly sliced
¼ cup sweet corn, removed from the cob
¼ cup green peas or green beans
5 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and diced
½ cup cooked chickpeas
¼ cup seitan, diced
1. Place the cooked barley, chickpeas, red onion, red radish, celery, seitan and chickpeas in a mixing bowl.
2. Place a small amount of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Boil the sweet corn for 1½ minutes, the carrot for 1½ minutes, and the green peas or green beans for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Place in the mixing bowl.
5. Place ½ inch water in a saucepan and season with tamari soy sauce for a slightly salty flavor.
6. Place the shiitake mushrooms in the saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce the flame to medium?low and simmer for about 10 minutes until tender.
8. Remove and drain.
9. Add the shiitake to the other ingredients in the mixing bowl.
10. Set the cooking water aside and use for soup stock.
1 Tbsp. tamari soy sauce
¼ to ? tsp. ginger juice
½ to 2/3 cup water
1. To prepare the dressing, place the tamari soy sauce and water in a saucepan and heat.
2. Turn off the flame, and add the ginger juice, and mix.
3. Mix the barley and vegetables in the mixing bowl.
4. Pour the tamari?ginger dressing over the barley salad just before serving. Place in a serving dish.
1 cup organic apple juice
3 Tablespoons kuzu
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup currants
1/3 cup roasted and coarsely chopped almonds
Millet and Chickpeas Salad
(using leftover millet and chickpeas)
3 cups cooked millet
1 cup cooked chickpeas
½ cup red onion, levitra diced
½ cup green peas, shelled
¼ cup carrot, diced
1 Tbsp burdock, diced
½ cup sweet corn, removed from cob (or ½ cup frozen organic corn)
1 Tbsp chives, scallion, or parsley, chopped
3 umeboshi plums, pits removed
3 Tbsp organic roasted tahini
1 Tbsp onion, finely grated
¾ cup water
1. Place the millet, chickpeas, and red onion in a mixing bowl.
2. Blanch the green peas for 2 minutes in boiling water.
3. Remove, drain, and place in the mixing bowl.
4. Blanch the carrot for I minute, the burdock for 2 minutes, and the sweet corn for 1 ½ minutes.
5. Place in the mixing bowl.
1.Grind the umeboshi plums in a suribachi until it becomes a smooth paste.
2. Add the tahini and grind again until evenly mixed with the umeboshi.
3. Add the onion and grind.
4. Slowly add the water, pureeing constantly until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
5. Pour the dressing over the millet salad ingredients and mix thoroughly.
6. Place in a serving bowl.
7. Garnish with chopped chives.
4 heaping Tablespoons agar flakes
3 cups bing cherries
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 heaping Tablespoon kuzu
1/2 cup water
10. Add the pitted cherries and allow to cool until the agar sets up.
Amasake (Amazake) Pudding
Amasake (Amazake) is a naturally sweet rice beverage sold in many natural
foods stores. Be sure to check the label so that you get the kind with no added sugar.
4 cups amasake
6 tablespoons kuzu
Water for diluting kuzu
A few toasted sesame seeds or roasted chopped almonds for garnish
1. Place amasake in a pot. Stir and slowly bring to a boil.
2. Place the kuzu in a small bowl and cover with water. Stir with your fingers until you can feel the kuzu lumps are dissolved.
3. Pour a trickle of diluted kuzu into hot amasake, online stirring continuously with a whisk to avoid lumps.
4. Continue stirring until the kuzu is cooked. The starch turns from a milky white to a more clear consistency.
5. Spoon into a dessert cup and garnish.
Tempeh with Vegetables & Sauerkraut
This recipe is especially nice during colder weather. It is warming and energizing. If you prefer, pills it can be made in a regular pot. Add an additional 15 minutes to the cooking time.
1 inch of water in the bottom of the pressure cooker
1 block of tempeh
Sesame oil for frying tempeh.
1 medium onion, rx trimmed, peeled and cut into eighths
1 medium turnip, cut into eighths
1 large carrot, cut into wedges
¼ head of green cabbage, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup sauerkraut
1 level teaspoon sea salt
Soy sauce to taste
Savory Seasoned Dried Tofu
Dried tofu is the most concentrated source of protein of all soy foods. This type of tofu can be used in a number of dishes. It is especially delicious as an ingredient in rolled sushi or added to pasta salad.
Dried tofu is not commonly available in natural foods stores, store and when it is, it is often old and rancid. It should not be a yellow color. Instead it should be a light beige if it is fresh. In our opinion, the very best quality is sold by Gold Mine Natural Foods at www.goldminenaturalfoods.com or 1-800-475-3663.
8 pieces of dried tofu
1 ½ level teaspoons sea salt
2 rounded Tablespoons granulated onion powder
¼ cup brown rice syrup
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
hands to remove excess water.
the narrow width of the tofu.
pot) with enough water to cover the tofu.
1 one pound block of tofu
2 or 3 scallions sliced into thin rounds
1 Tablespoon bonita fish flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
Soy sauce to taste
3 inches of boiling water
1. Bring water to a rolling boil.
2. Cut block of tofu in half and place in boiling water. Return water to a full boil and shut off flame.
3. Shut off flame and let tofu rest in hot water for 5 more minutes.
3. Remove tofu blocks from water. Drain.
4. Cut each half into halves again. And cut each section into two triangles.
5. Arrange 2 triangles in small bowl..
7. Serve immediately.
Lentils with Vegetables
2 cups green lentils
1 strip of kombu, pharm 2-3 inches long, soaked and diced
1 cup spring or well water for soaking kombu
1 quart spring or well water
2 cups diced onion (about 2 medium onions)
1 ear of sweet corn (or 1 cup of frozen organic corn)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Place the lentils in the bowl and wash them. Set them aside to drain.
2. Wipe both sides of the kombu with a clean, damp sponge. Place it in a bowl with I cup of water and let it soak for 3-5 minutes. Remove, place it on the cutting board, and dice. Save the soaking water.
3. Peel and wash the onions and then dice them into large pieces.
4. Remove the husk from the ear of corn and wash the corn under a stream of cold water. Place it on the cutting board and remove the kernels with the vegetable knife. Set them aside.
5. Wash the parsley under a stream of cold water, chop it very fine, and set it aside.
6. Place the kombu, onions, lentils, and water, including the kombu soaking water, in a pot. Bring to a boil, place the lid on the pot, and reduce the flame to medium?low.
7. Cover and simmer on a medium?low flame for 45 minutes. Then add the corn kernels and sea salt. Cover and simmer for another 10?15minutes.
8. Remove the lid, add the chopped parsley, and cook, uncovered, for another 3?5 minutes. Remove from the pot and place in a serving bowl.
Chickpeas with Carrots and Onions
1 cup chickpeas
1?inch piece kombu
½ cup carrots
½ cup onions
3 cups water
Pinch of sea salt
1 onion, cut into thin crescents
4 inch piece of wakame, soaked and finely cut
4 cups water
1 heaping Tablespoon barley miso, or to taste
1 green onion, cut into thin diagonal slices for garnish
1/4 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms (soak mushrooms first
1/2 cup barley
1 four-inch piece kombu
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 cup thin diagonally-sliced celery
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Chopped garnish (scallion, parsley, or watercress)
Soak the barley overnight in 2 cups of water. Pour the barley along with the soaking water into a soup pot. Add two cups of fresh water plus the kombu. Bring almost to a boil, reduce flame and cook for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté the onion in 1 teaspoon sesame oil for 3 minutes. Add the chopped
shiitake and sauté for another 3 minutes, then add the celery and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes. Finally, add the carrots and sauté 2 minutes.
Combine the sautéed vegetables with soup and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Season with miso to taste.
Serve with a chopped garnish such as scallions, parsley, or watercress.