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  • The Anonymous Hungry Hippopotamus

The Olive Harvest

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

A close friend of mine and her family, recently traded their lives in the hustle and bustle of the city of Oakland, California for a new adventure in the quiet, countryside of Kenwood, California in Sonoma County. After my first trip to their new home, I could see why.

Only 10 minutes from their house (and less if you don't make a wrong turn like I always seem to do) are a plethora of Sonoma County wineries, restaurants, shops, spas, and more. You wouldn't know that all that activity is just around the corner when you are relaxing in their home, surrounded by untouched terrain, the unhampered sound of wildlife, a babbling brook, gorgeous hills and sweeping views of the Sonoma Valley.

Who needs GPS when you have directions and an adorable guide like this?

When my friends purchased the land for their home, they inherited a vineyard (I already know what you're thinking and the answer is "yes!" They harvested the grapes and will be bottling their own wine. I am hoping to get a taste soon.)


...olive trees.

There are four to be exact, and that brings us to the subject of this post. My friends invited their family and close friends to come and help harvest the olives. This was definitely a new adventure for me.

First, nets were laid down around the trees to catch the olives. Then, the olives were removed from the trees using rakes. From there, they were sorted. Only olives that were free from defect were chosen and brought in to prepare for consumption.

The olives would then have to brine for many weeks before they were ready to eat. Since we couldn't enjoy the olives quite yet, we had...

wine and champagne (How great are these napkins, by the way?) and..., which we all prepared together. The kids created this exquisite charcuterie board. A ten year old taught me how to make the salumi flowers. Such talent!

We also shared chocolate and almond croissants and a variety of quiches.

The quiche, pastries and fresh bread were purchased at Les Pascals Patisserie et Boulangerie in the neighboring city of Glen Ellen, where they are baked fresh daily. My friend stood in line at 6 a.m. to procure the best for her guests, before the line got too long, or they sold out (which happens frequently).

We also made a Caesar salad,

grilled chicken,

and my friend's husband made this amazing tagliolini and tossed it in his homemade, marinara sauce. It was so, so good! It was a wonderful day filled with new experiences, new friendships, and fellowship with old friends.

Driving home and watching the sun set over Sonoma County, I quietly reflected on the blessing of close friendship with extraordinary people.

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