Ingredients and utensils for curing olives with lye:
- A few pounds of fresh-picked green olives.
- A small bottle of 100% pure lye (sodium hydroxide).
- A quart of white vinegar.
- Two containers of plain non-iodized salt.
- Herbs and spices. (optional)
- A couple of 2-gallon-sized plastic food containers with lids.
- A plastic gallon-sized pitcher for measuring water.
- Plastic measuring spoons and plastic stirring utensil. (Never use metal containers or spoons when dealing with lye. Lye reacts to metal, especially aluminum, and is dangerous and potentially poisonous!)
- A few small squares (12”) of clean cloth.
For years I have lived in the vicinity of olive trees and yet have never cured olives. It seemed to be a complex, time-consuming affair and I didn’t personally know anyone who cured them. [Read more…]