Pursuing the poetical, paradoxical, metaphorical, lyrical, artistical, majestical, and mystical.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Olive Press


This is an olive press. One trip to Israel was during olive harvest. We saw the families out under their trees bashing the branches onto tarps on the ground. 

Jane Ben Ari told us that the family kept the first pressing. It was the finest. It supplied them all year. The second pressing was sold to retailers for cash. The third pressing was used for soap and household lighting and other sundries. Washing with a handcrafted bar of olive oil soap is a luxurious thing. Soft clean. The bar lasts forever! 

The seed is crushed along with the meat of the olive. There is a spout that the oil drips out of. The process is slow and tedious from start to finish. Steady, but slow. The oil must be stored properly to keep from becoming rancid. 

Life revolves around this simple little orb. I remember fresh made hummus with first pressing olive oil drizzled on, scooped up with warm flat bread ~ oh my! 

Old olive trees have hundreds of years of storied texture. Twists, gnarls, and thick, ugly trunks. They are a mainstay. A staple of life. Serious to a family's livelihood. Life giving.  

Gethsemane means this very kind of pressing. The process seems to result in oil of gladness and blessing. 

9 comments:

M.L. Gallagher said...

I remember the olive trees of Greece. Their silver leaves shimmered in the sun. The branches reached out and cast shadows all around.

Thanks for the beautiful photo and words stirring my memory!

katdish said...

Thank you, Kathleen. For the history lesson and the heart lesson. Both much appreciated.

Susan said...

...and this is why we need to look at the label & make sure we buy first pressed OO! (I know a man who buys his OO from a supplier in the middle east. He will not buy it from a local grocery store.)

Maureen said...

Wonderful read, Kathleen; lovely mix of what Kathy calls history-heart lessons.

I imagine dipping wonderful hot Lebanese bread into first-press. We have a wonderful Lebanese restaurant in our area. When you come East, I'll treat.

S. Etole said...

Gethsemane ... it feeds us well.

Kathleen Overby said...

I'm taking you up on that Maureen! Susan H and Susan Etole, you're both so right. Thx katdish. Louise, I'm a little envious you've been to Greece.

A Simple Country Girl said...

Lovely. All of it. Don't tease about such a thing as eating two of my favorite foods...now I have to find a napkin for all this drool.

Blessings.

n. davis rosback said...

i love hummus and and fresh naan.
now i want some...

i have ever used olive soap.

皓珊 said...
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