21 December 2018

The Oxford Olive Harvest

According to Dr G G Willis, of the Anglican Patrimony, the December Ember Days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday this week) replace the old pagan Roman agricultural festival upon which the olives were harvested.

The oldest texts for these days, in the Verona Sacramentary, probably dating from before Christmass fully established its liturgical dominance, still retain agricultural references; but these were gradually eliminated to make way for Advent themes.

Last spring, I bought a tiny but perfectly formed Olive tree in order further to mediterraneanise my garden. It is flourishing (as indeed is my myrtle, which started life as a seedling in the myrtle groves of Parcnasilla in the Kingdom of the West, aka County Kerry).

So, on Wednesday, Pam and I harvested our two olives. It's the sort of thing Traditionalists do.

I expect someone will tell me from personal experience (I don't trust Wikipedia) how I should process them for consumption. Will they fit in with the venison we've ordered for Christmass?

9 comments:

Sue Sims said...

Mazeltov, Father!

Try stuffing each olive with half a teaspoon of caviar (obviously you'll have soaked them in Calvados first), then use them to garnish your mince pies. It will provide a gastronomic experience you and Pam will never forget.

Jim Bowman said...

Fascinating in its unabashed zest for the concrete. You are of the ordinariate, I presume, Pam yr spouse?

Claudio Salvucci said...

Huzzah! I hope to follow in your footsteps some day, although that's probably two more olives than I can expect in the northern parts of Penn's Woods.

I will ask my parents, who have prepared many a jar, for advice on how to soak, salt, and rinse two.

sam said...

They'll not be ready for Christmas but the fastest method is to break the skin (with a knife if black, a mallet if green) and soak in cool water changed daily for at least a week.Then pop them into a vinegar, salt, and whatever herbs you like finishing brine for at least another week. Cheers!

Donna Bethell (formerly known as Rose Marie) said...

Hurry with Sam's recipe, Father. You can still make Epiphany/Twelfth Night. And we expect a full report.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. This is such a warm and charming post. Thank you

Unknown said...

traditionally ash was used to remove the bitterness.

Unknown said...

Traditionally ash was used to remove the natural bitterness.

Rubricarius said...

Venison baked in myrtle leaves stuffed with olives for Christmas dinner - after solemn Mattins in choro of St. Stephen of course!