Sunday, October 26, 2008

Olives

I wrote about Sammy and Matty Cremona last year after the lovely evening at their olive plantation. This year, we planned a day full of olives ... Terry, Alex and me, plus a handful of other intrepid do-it-yourselfers arrived at the Ambassador's residence around lunchtime and got olives off the trees. Sammy had said he thought it would take a few hours and we scoffed - yeah, it took a long time. Their trees are very very tall so we used these jerry-rigged poles with little rakes taped to the top to shake and scrape olives off their branches. With about 6 of us rotating time on 2 rakes, everyone else gathering the dropped olives off the ground, we acquired 3/4 of the olives our DCM managed to pick by hand by himself (with some help from the rest of the family) in an hour.

We called it quits around 2:30 because we had to head over to the Cremona's. We were met there by about half the embassy who had decided that although the picking was too strenuous, learning about indigenous maltese olives and the pressing process was just their speed.

Once again there was a delicious spread of brick oven foccaccia , fresh olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, gbejniet, and bigilla (olive paste). In addition they quenched out thirst with Maltese wine. We have been advised to expect about 3 liters of oil for our efforts, I'll find out on Monday when I go back to pick it up - our olives hadn't gotten pressed yet by the time we departed around 5pm.

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