olive blessing

Did you know that olives needed blessing? Me neither! Common throughout California, olives are most extensively cultivated fruit in the world, and about 90% of all olives are pressed for their oil. A Mediterranean fruit, some olive trees bear fruit for hundreds of years.

The eighth annual Sonoma Valley Olive Festival, a celebration of the olive harvest and an agricultural and culinary showcase, takes place December 2008 through February 2009. Enjoy a wide variety of entertaining events and tasty delights. Check out a full listing of events.

What: Blessing of the Olives
Where: Mission San Francisco Solano, 114 East Spain St. (at 1st St. E) Sonoma, CA 95476 [ Map ]
When: Saturday, December 6, 2008, 10am
How: Free!

After the blessing don’t miss the open house and tastings at:
The Olive Press
24724 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476 [Map]

More events include dinners, tastings, tours, community olive pressings, curing seminars and a book signing. Online you’ll find Olives 101, a guide to olive oil grades, buying tips, popular varieties, facts and recipes.

Here is a recipe for marinated olives I hope you’ll enjoy:

Marinated Olives

1/2 pound Kalamata olives
1/4 pound feta cheese
1/2 lemon
1–2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry white vermouth

Drain and pit the olives and place in a mixing bowl. Cut the feta into roughly 1/2-inch cubes and add to the olives. Finely dice the whole lemon including the peel, remove any pits and mince the garlic. Add lemon and garlic to the olives and feta along with the olive oil and vermouth. Allow to marinate for at least 1 day, adjust seasoning to your liking.

Event: Blessing of the Olives 1 December,2008Amy Sherman


Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman began blogging in 2003, because all her
friends and family were constantly asking her where
and what to eat. Three months after it launched,
Forbes chose her blog, Cooking with Amy, as one of the
top five best food blogs, praising her writing as
“smart, cozy and witty”. Since then her blog has been
featured and recipes reprinted in many newspapers and
magazines in the U.S. and the world.

In addition to regularly updating her blog, Amy is a
guest contributor to the Epicurious.com blog, and
Contributing Editor of Glam Dish. She also writes
restaurant reviews for SF Station.

Her focus on Bay Area Bites is primarily cookbook
reviews along with some interviews and current events.

Amy is a recipe developer and freelance food writer.
She is author of WinePassport: Portugal and wrote the new introduction to the classic cookbook, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, published by the University of Nebraska Press. She recently completed 45 recipes for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook and wrote her first piece for VIA magazine.

She is currently serving on the board of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amy lives in San Francisco with her husband, tech journalist Lee Sherman.

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