It’s a long term passionate relationship that I have with olives, far from being my all time favorite food, it can take me to that period of beautiful childhood days where olives meant endless fun with my siblings.
It’s that time of the year in autumn, where we would rush into grandma’s kitchen to be part of crushing the olives festival! Tayta would sit in the center on one of her flat squared cushions and I would be around her with my sisters. I would be granted the big wooden hammer because I’m old enough to use it, Farah would use the smaller black stone and Nour my baby sister would gather those crazily escaping ones and put them in the largest plastic container grandma has. Here’s how it’s done:
- Take a handful of olives.
- Put them in a plastic bag.
- Arrange them in the right geometrical way as the final step before the smashing part.
- The smashing part, the fun part!
When I remember this now, I can recall the oily slippery feeling on our hands, the strong smell and the fresh green color of the olives. It was really a fulfilling activity for all the senses and muscles. I can’t believe how patient my grandma was with the whole process and having kids goofing around in addition. She was never annoyed but she actually bothered and took the time to show us how it’s done. Back then my grandma was young enough to do that not only for herself but for her children as well.
Tayta is fully aware she’s too old for this now, and all the olives she gets are sent to a special factory to be smashed by machines that do all the job but I caught her the other day trying to redo the process using the garlic copper smasher. When she saw me she said: machines can’t do it right, can’t you see?