PICKLED KALAMATA OLIVES

YIELD: AROUND 10 CUPS
    
INGREDIENTS: 
10 cups freshly picked, ripe Kalamata olives (picked within 48 hours) 
5 cups salt, approximately
Water (for soaking daily)
6 cups white vinegar
6 cups water
3/4 cup pickling salt
1/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
5 cloves garlic
   
METHOD:
1. Day 1 - 10. Daily soaking in brine. After sorting and then washing olives well, removing any leaves and stems, and removing any unripe olives, place the olives into a large, clean non-metal container and cover with salt water (1/2 cup salt in 10 cups of water). Put a plate on the olives to help submerge them. Repeat each day by draining olives, making a fresh amount of salt water, covering olives, submerging them and putting the lid loosely on top of the bucket.
2. At about Day 8, check to see how bitter the olives are by biting one - if it is very bitter, check the following day (continue checking each day until ready to pickle). You'll know they're ready to pickle when you bite into one and it is only a little bitter. 
3. Prepare jars by covering in water and boiling for 10 minutes.       
4. Combine pickling spice (tied in a piece of cheesecloth), vinegar, water, 3/4 cup pickling salt and sugar in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until dissolved, then bring to a boil and remove from heat.
5. Add garlic and mustard seeds into each jar. Pack olives into jars to 1/2 inch (1cm) headspace. 
6. Ladle hot pickling liquid into the hot jars, to a 1/2 inch (1cm) headspace. Remove any bubbles, adding extra liquid if required to correct headspace. Wipe rims clean and secure lids.
7. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool. 
8. The next day: check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Jar lids should not flex up or down when pressed

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