Aug 232011
 

While I am convalescing on the couch I am getting calls from well-wishers and those who are horrified that I contracted salmonella and want to know how to avoid contracting it themselves (I am happy to give advice), and then there is the emergency olive call. The last call perked me up enough to make me sit up. It was my brother, Joe, and he was excited.

The following conversation must be performed in breathless, over-excited tones.

Joe (handsome, graying, 40-something male): Guess what?

Mary (middle-aged, currently sickly, 50-something female): What?

Joe: Remember my little olive tree that I had out by the pool?

Mary: Yeah.

Joe: A lot of the olives are starting to ripen.

Mary: Oh no, it’s only August.

Joe: What do I do?

Mary: (Stalling for time while she thinks) Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. What color are the ones that look ripe?

Joe: Brownish.

Mary: Do you mean reddish-brown?

Joe: Maybe.

Mary: Are they spots?

Joe: No, looks like ripening.

Mary: Okay. Do you have any recipes for curing the olives? Because after harvesting you’ve got 24 hours before they start to oxidize and you want them at their best.

Joe: Yeah. There’s an Italian lady down the street who gave me her recipe for curing olives, and don’t you have something on your website?

Mary: I think so. Let me look. Don’t harvest the olives until I see if I can find the video recipe I put on my site. You should have all the equipment together before you start.

Joe: Okay, gotta run.

Mary: Bye.

Well, I have searched and searched all my articles and I can’t find any recipes for curing olives on my website. This is a void that must be filled. My brother and the little olive tree in Tampa need me.

May the sun shine through your branches.

www.olivecrazy.com

Aug 222011
 

If you read my articles you’ll know that food safety is a big deal for me. Thanks to recent personal events my focus on the food safety aspects of olive and olive oil processing, transportation, adulteration, etc. are going to get the volume turned up.

I just spent a week in the hospital after contracting salmonella enteritis while in California. I am fortunate to have received a quick response and excellent care from Dr. Uwakwe and the staff at Piedmont Hospital. I am alive and all my organs are intact. Whew!

So, where and when did I get salmonella? Unfortunately it is hard to say exactly where and when. I started to become sick while in California, about a month ago, but further detail is difficult. Dr. Uwakwe said it was my good health that kept me from showing extreme symptoms earlier than a few weeks after contracting the disease. But it is certain that I contracted salmonella from food. The best I can do is assume the salmonella bacteria was hanging out on some raw fruit or vegetable since those are the things I ate differently from my family and they are all well.

So here I am am with my new and improved mantra: food safety, food safety, food safety …

Why have strict importation regulations? Food safety.

Why have strict food transportation laws? Food safety.

Why have a no tolerance program for food adulteration? Food safety.

Why make sure that the International Olive Council puts their quality control regulations to work, instead of making excuses for exporters? Food safety.

Lack of food safety maims, kills, and at best comes in the form of a $20,000.00 hospital bill. Snack on that.

May the sun shine through your branches.

www.olivecrazy.com

Aug 142011
 

Every day I read lots of material about the olive, some from books and others from the internet. Each week I share with you the articles, recipes, research documents, and other information I find on the internet. Most of it is very interesting and some of it inspires me to write an article or two of my own. None of these links are in any way my opinion or are endorsed by me. I am sharing.

Olive Links of the Week

I am always interested in recipes for dips and here is one I read this week on Babble.com’s The Family Kitchen – “Sweet Summer Tomato Roasted Garlic Hummus“.

FarmVille lovers now have olive trees to plant: Lucques and Picholine varieties. Even though she isn’t responsible for this, my sister-in-law, Crystal, an avid FarmVille player, came up with this concept and told me about it this past summer – clever woman.

Great Washington Post article about pickling. The author, Emma Horton, calls pickling the kinky cousin of canning, and it is – sweet, sour, salty, spicy goodness.

We Olive, the San Fran bay area olive and olive oil boutique is franchising. Here is an article about it from Benzinga, “We Olive Begins Franchise Expansion”.

It’s still winter on the planetary south side. Here are some hearty winter recipes courtesy of The Canberra Times. Lard is involved in some of the recipes, but hey, I love lard too.

In Saint Louis, Missouri, a Greek ex-patriate family is trying to save their olive grove back in old Sparta, Greece. Read “Olive oil enthusiasts in St. Louis are saving Greece’s Olea Estates“.

2011 extra virgin olive oil harvest complete” article in Stock & Land tells that Australian olive oil harvest down this year.

Here’s a problem – “Pinnacle Foods’ Birds Eye® Brand Announces New Steamfresh® Chef’s Favorites Varieties“. Why? It is in the freezer section, which is NOT GOOD for olive oil.

For those of us at the end of summer here is a recipe from the West Roxbury Patch, “Recipe: Chilled Zucchini & Summer Squash Soup“.

May the sun shine through your branches.

www.olivecrazy.com

Aug 072011
 

Every day I read lots of material about the olive, some from books and others from the internet. Each week I share with you the articles, recipes, research documents, and other information I find on the internet. Most of it is very interesting and some of it inspires me to write an article or two of my own. None of these links are in any way my opinion or are endorsed by me. I am sharing.

Olive Links of the Week

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?” from The Olive Oil Times.

A follow up to my article “A Crazy Olive News Story” from KPSP Local 2 in Thousand Palms, California “Judge allows inspection of olive farm in lawsuit“.

Recipe: Stacked Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Pesto and Black Olive Puree” from YNN Syracuse, Oswego, and Auburn.

Onion Lovers Pizza (By Jamie)” from the Yeshiva World News. I had to include this one. I love onions and lots of them.

Interesting facts about singers and olive oil “Take a Swig of EVOO!” from the Passionate Olive.

The Olive Press writes about extra virgin olive oil authentication in “COOC: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Certification“.

Into The Kitchn a recipe for “Spicy Appetizer Recipe: Roasted Jalapeño & Lime Hummus“.

The Olive Oil Times sells certified International Olive Council tasting glasses here.

Rucker Place, Lima Bean Spread” from Alabama’s channel 13 here is a video and recipe for this interesting spread.

Corpus Christi Caller article “Olive oil production takes off in Texas amid Eagle Ford Shale rush“.

May the sun shine through your branches.

www.olivecrazy.com

Aug 062011
 

Mary Flynn’s “The Pink Ribbon Diet” is all about olive oil. I have been reading her study on post-menopausal breast cancer patients and it is fascinating. I will prepare an article about the study soon.

But first! Here is a recipe for an American family meal staple – spaghetti.

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Feta, and Basil

Serves one, 520 Calories

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (5 ounces) cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
Salt
1 ounce feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 ounces whole wheat spaghetti

Heat the olive oil on medium-low in a medium skillet. Add the tomatoes, season with salt, and cook slowly so they absorb the olive oil, about 10 minutes. Add the feta and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the feta starts to melt. Remove from the heat and add the basil leaves.

While the tomatoes are cooking, bring six cups of water to a boil. Add salt and the pasta, stirring occasionally until the water returns to a boil so the pasta does not stick together. Cook according to directions on the pasta package, tasting a minute before in case the package is wrong. Drain and toss with the sauce.

May the sun shine through your branches.

www.olivecrazy.com