Showing posts from 2018

California Sourdough Bread

Yield: 1 LoafAuthor: Kathryn A. KeelerPrint Recipe Sourdough Bread ingredients:
1 cup sourdough starter1/2 cup water2 tsp. salt3 cups flour instructions:
In bowl of mixer, combine salt, bread and flour; mix on low with paddle attachment, just to combine; Add starter/water mixture and mix on low until a shaggy dough forms; cover bowl with plastic and let dough rise in warm place for 10-24 hours;Turn dough on to floured surface; form rectangle; fold over three to four times; with floured hands, form ball; cover dough loosely with plastic and allow to rest one to two hours or until doubled in size; Preheat oven to 450; after pre-heated, put Dutch oven (with lid) in oven to preheat for 30 minutes to an hour.  Transfer dough ball to Dutch oven; cover with lid; Bake for 30 minutes; remove lid and bake 15 more minutes or until golden brown;  bread internal temperature should be 190-205.Transfer bread to wire rack to cool completely before slicing; NOTES:Sourdough starter should be fed three to …

2018 Olive Harvest -- What Worked, What Didn't Work 😀😩

AyO's 2018 olive harvest began at sunrise on Saturday, November 3, 2018.  While much of the world and California's olive market is suffering from a poor olive crop this year, for whatever reason, that is not the case here.  This should have been our alternate producing year (I was looking forward to a year which included some time off), but even with our ten largest trees not producing, we will eclipse last year's production.  Of course, the worrier in me is thinking, "OMG, how many olives are we going to have in our big production year, next year???" 😱
We are so fortunate to not only have family and friends and neighbors help us with the sorting, but since olives must be milled within 24 hours to begin the EVOO certification process in the U.S., we do hire crews to come in to pick the olives, so between the crews and the sorters, in our minds, the entire pick was going to get done in one day.  We were even tracking the bins real-time.

Our milling appointment was…

2018, Overcoming Challenges 😖

We know.  We are very bad on posting updates on our blog, but updates and recipes are posted on our Facebook page daily (, and by daily, we mean daily, as well as Instagram and Twitter.

So the question remains, what have we been doing?  We started the year attempting to expand to deal with our largest olive harvest ever.  It takes time to get our oils in for EVOO certification, formulation time for the flavored oils, working on approved labels to meet the new Food Management Act, as well as creating our other products, marketing, bottling, as well as all the exterior farm work, pruning of the grapevines, pruning a couple hundred olive trees, racking all of our wines, getting all the olive oil in for competition -- the list is endless.  With two people working on the farm, something usually suffers in attempting to check off all of those items on the To Do List.   Despite resolutions to get out of the barn, take time off and have fun, that was …

Scenes from 2017 Olive Harvest

Yes, yes, we hear it every year.  Where are your pictures from olive harvest?  Harvesting got in the way, then Thanksgiving, then EVOO certification, the dog ate our homework, Christmas -- and here we are.
In order to be certified extra virgin quality olives, the olives must be picked, sorted, and milled within 24 hours and must be of the highest quality.

Our olive harvest was split up into two days this year, November 10th and November 17th.  The first olives harvested were the Mission, Pendolino and Leccino olives.  We have a professional crew come in to pick the olives, who arrive at sunrise to pick, and our Day 1 crew consisted of family, including our daughter-in-law, grandchildren and my cousin and her husband, and wonderful friends.  The olives were at the mill, ready for milling by 5:00 p.m.  A wonderful dinner was enjoyed at Paso Terra after dropping off the olives for milling.

A couple photos of the family at the mill when the olives were being delivered to the mill.

Can it…