This past weekend we tasted the first batch of olives. I flavored them two ways. 1) bay, lemon, garlic, and rosemary and 2) bay, lemon, garlic, and thyme. I removed the garlic from each jar after one week. Holy mother of garlic fiends! Does that garlic get strong in the brine! Lesson learned: use one clove per jar and see what happens. Several is much too pungent.
I love rosemary so I fully expected to love it in my olives. I did not. Philip didn’t like it much either. You know who tasted both and preferred the rosemary olives? Max. I am amazed that he wanted to try either of them – he recently tried his first commercially made green olive and didn’t like it. But he wanted to try mine. The texture of olives is still throwing him off but he liked the flavor. Especially the rosemary flavor. My take on them: very sharp and much too piney, overwhelming herb flavor.
Philip and I both loved the thyme flavored ones. SO GOOD. Excuse me but this is what I said when I tasted them “These are SO FUCKING GOOD!!”* The texture is perfect. The flavor of these ones was more subtly herby but with the briny flavor of olive coming through.
I was completely excited by how good these turned out until Philip put a damper on my excitement ten minutes later by saying he felt a sudden wave of nausea and broke out in a little sweat. He thinks it was the olives. I denied the possibility very strongly. I do not poison members of my family with my preserving projects!
However – I had just burped up pine flavor before he poked a giant hole in my triumph so I had to admit to myself (but not to him!) that there might be something in his experience. That rosemary flavoring was really harsh and Philip has a delicate stomach. I’m not saying that to be mean. He’s tough in many ways but his stomach is not an organ of great fortitude.
It is the easiest thing in the world to make him get queasy. Here’s how you do it:
You “Hey Philip.”
You “I think that milk was bad. I feel queasy.”
(wait two minutes)
Him “I feel queasy too.”
See? Or you can just make him clean out the litter box 15 minutes before having him taste your olives. Or just ask him “Are you feeling queasy?” just asking him that question has often been effective.**
My theory is that those rosemary olives are unpleasantly potent and upsetting to stomachs. Until I have proved this is the problem I will not share my olives with anyone else. The next step is to taste only the thyme olives and see what happens. But I have to let Philip’s fear fade a little bit first.
Next up – flavoring the second batch. But not with rosemary.
*That’s what I said in my head and then put on facebook. I did not say it in front of Max. Although I completely approve of swearing on general principle, I don’t swear in front of him. Except by accident.
** While I can make fun of him for being so highly suggestible – I have to remind you that I’m emetaphobic and this means that if I know someone is sick with the flu and are vomiting or if I see or hear vomit – I will become nauseous immediately. However, my stomach is very strong and rarely feels a twinge that is not produced as a byproduct of anxiety or proximity to sick people.