My across-the-road neighbour has olive trees. A few years ago, I asked if I could join her next time she was picking/pickling. I was curious to see how the magic happened, and happy to help pick the fruit. 

The last couple of years had produced very poor crops and it wasn’t until this year that there was an opportunity to help. On Tuesday, we checked out the fruit. 

On Friday, it was pickin’ time. We picked all we could reach from the ground and from a standard ladder. Buckets full.


Then came the corker. All that we’d picked – probably three full 10 litre buckets full, were for me. She refused to keep any. She already had some pickling and there were plenty more in the higher reaches that her sons would pick for her. So my, I’d like to help you, became her gift to me. Hmm. Not quite the plan. Tricksy people these neighbours!


After coffee and divine syrup cake with walnuts, I lugged my load home. (oh okay, she helped me with that too). I delved into the deep, dark spidery recesses of our shed for the pickling and preserving jars that I knew I’d hidden in there more than a decade ago. And after I’d cleaned, boiled and filled them, there were still two full buckets and this large bottle full. Since then I’ve shared a few with friends, but am hoping to share a few more. Any takers?

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