July 01, 2005
Did you really think that salad was the only place you could use olive oil? How about as a furniture restorative, moisturizer for baby's nostrils, magic potion or ingredient in dog food?
Carol Firenze has written a wonderful book, The Passionate Olive, which has all these ideas and many more. She starts with an introduction to olive oil lore then takes you on a wonderful journey to a higher plane of olive oil usage. Carol's family came from Liguria where olive oil was the all purpose cure and lubricant.
You will be entertained by stories of her cousin Graziella in Genoa who polishes her slate floors with olive oil and her nonna Jenny's recipe for cleaning pewter.
In the chapter "Through your house", she describes how to polish brass or unstick zippers with olive oil. The chapter on health covers everything from killing head lice to soothing frostbite. Read beauty tips for strengthening nails and learn how to shave with olive oil.
Chapters on baby care, pet care and olive oil used as charms and potions are peppered with easy to read recipes. Firenze has a contagious enthusiasm which makes you want to start mixing and bottling.
There are of course sections on cooking, with recipes for infusions, sauces and baking. Throw an olive oil tasting party or make party favors and gift baskets.
The book is available at most mass markets book stores and The Passionate Olive