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?
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?
Mary: Do you mean reddish-brown?
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.
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.