Oddly enough... (French Fridays with Dorie: Herbed Olives)

Oddly enough, olives are one of the first foods that pop into my recollections of childhood holiday meals.

I remember the dinner's at my grandmother's house as a little girl.

There would always be olives.

A jar of the green ones with the red things in them. (Back then, I had no idea that they were pimentos.)

And a can of the black ones that were totally perfect for stuffing on the ends of tiny fingers.

I don't think my mother approved.

Yep, the holidays were about the olives... and the cranberry sauce. And my grandma's cookies.

The olives were always spooned into pretty little glass dishes - sometimes pink glass, sometimes blue glass, sometimes the glass with the cut out designs.

By the time I was old enough to remember any of those holiday meals, I was the only child in attendance.

The fall out of being the youngest grandchild.

The upside of this was that there wasn't a kids table - I was the only kid. Although, I do remember a time or two having a table all to myself in the other room.

Sadly, there are no more meals to be had around my grandmother's table.

And these days, the holiday table may or may not include olives.

A few of those little glass dishes of my grandmother now reside in my cabinet - making their way out on special occasions. Sparking memories of days gone by - and with it, a smile.

Dressing up olives the day before Thanksgiving seemed oddly appropriate.
As I toasted the spices and then warmed the herbs, garlic and spices up in their olive oil bath, the thought crossed my mind that these weren't my grandmother's olives.
Time moves on.
Traditions change.
The new and old weave together to create a new life tapestry.
I am grateful for both.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. Looks good, never done this myself. I guess this went really well with the many wines:)

  2. Wasn't this a blessing in how easy it was? HAppy Thanksgiving Cher and wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season. XO

  3. Nice pics Cher. I like your memories of past celebrations, it´s a sweet post. Have a great day!

  4. These brought back the similar childhood memories for me...and I think a few black olives made it onto our fingers as well! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  5. Kudos for making this! All those herbs and spices look great.

  6. I find ways to keep my grandmother at every holiday table I am in charge of. I have no childhood memories of olives other than how they disgusted me when other kids put them on their fingers. I have only recently discovered that I love them. lol. Unfortunately I am too old to get away with putting them on my fingers...at least while there is anyone watching.

  7. What a lovely post. Olives don't bring up any memories for me as my mother hates them, but I do remember glass dishes filled with other things on special occasions.

  8. Love the photo of the herbs and spices cooking away. The aroma is fantastic. We
    loved this one and so easy for this week with all the other things to be cooked and
    baked. Have a great weekend.

  9. Beautiful sentiment Cher- I have olive memories as well but didn't think of them until I read your post! I guess the best ones were of eating the pitted black olives off our fingers but hating the green ones, too strong!! I find olives quite addictive and these marinated olives were delicious and fun to make, I'm glad you enjoyed them and had such wonderful thoughts of earlier holidays;-)

  10. These look wonderful, we love olives and usually just eat them plain but will definitely try these, thanks!

  11. Back when olives would have fit on the ends of my fingers, I refused to eat them. Fortunately, my taste buds have advanced. I hope your olives tasted delicious after their hot tub bath. And, that you and your family made new memories during this year's Thanksgiving feast!

  12. Olives have often been a part of my mother's holiday appetizer trays, so I think your sentiments would resonate with my nieces and nephews. These are simple and lovely - perfect for a holiday table, themselves.

    Hope your long weekend is lovely!

  13. What a beautiful post Cher.
    Your olives look delicious.

  14. Cher, wonderful memories weaved together with great pictures and a delicious recipe! It is so nice to see/read that this recipe for Marinated Mediterranean Olives made everyone who made it very happy!

  15. Hi Cher, So nice to hear from you. I see from browsing through several of your posts that I've missed lots in the food and blogging department over the past few months...I'm sure I'll catch up on a few. I agree with everything you've said about the olives and I share your memories. Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

  16. What a great post! I remember those holidays with those wonderful olives - and isn't it nice to grow up and change things up, with a bit of the old woven in to remind us of days past? I think I still make most of my grandmother's cookie recipes to this day!
    We loved these, and it was fun to have a few olives on the table. Hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving!

  17. Hi Cher, saw your note about beef cheeks on sanyaliving... I got mine yesterday at an Hispanic grocery store (in AZ, we have some big chains - just specializing in ethnic foods). My next stop would have been an Asian market - otherwise it would have been something high end as a last resort. But if you have an ethnic grocery store in your area with a nice meat selection, that would be a good place to start (when I looked on line - I just saw a case of Kobe beef cheeks for $236 - nope).

  18. I just read the "$236 for Kobe beef cheeks" and about passed outl I cannot find them at Whole Foods or at two of my local butchers. I don't think this is the time to start trolling Las Vegas for ethnic grocery stores that carry beef cheeks. Substitute. Substitute. Substitute. On to olives. Loved these and you're right - they get better with age. In fact I had ten of them for lunch today and they were tasty. I cannot remember my grandmother's table (except when she served tongue) but my Mom always had Lindsay black olives in the cupboard and on the table. My youngest daughter is named Lindsay and we always told her she was named after olives!!! She doesn't write home much....

  19. I loved this post, Cher!! It really touched my heart..Time does move on. And traditions change. And I am a witness to the old and new weaving together…sometimes it makes me sad, but mostly I am grateful!! Thank you for saying it so beautifully!!
    Love your olives…they look perfect!
    I will not be using beef cheeks unless I can find them at my local butcher…Dorie suggests beef chuck…so that’s what I might be using!


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