timistravels

My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

yummy food! crazy directions!

12/22/12

The day was quite an adventure.  We realized after two nights of driving in the dark that our car had a burnt our headlight, and the company asked us to bring the car by to exchange it.  A 15 minute ordeal turned into a typical crazy adventure because there is NO signage or at least none that makes sense on Crete. 02015 All we needed to do was get to the airport in Chania, simple task right?  Wrong.  Of course we eventually made it but I was no fun to be with for about an hour!    At least we came upon a beautiful old church that we stopped to take a picture of.01961 01960

After we got the new car, which was a cool, very small, SmartCar like vehicle we headed to the olive oil farm that is outlined in the previous blog.  Once the tour ended we decided to head back to the “old town” of Chania to have dinner.01956

We walked around the old town for quite a while and enjoyed the Christmas decorations and the holiday feel that was evident in all the shops.   For my birthday my sweetie got me a beautiful aqua marine stoned ring after talking to the artist Andre for quite a while.  I love getting things right from the artists!  019520194902027

How we decided on the place we ate I am not sure, BUT it was fantastic. It’s called the “Green Eye.”  The owner was very social and talkative and we enjoyed the meal so much.  It was probably the best meal I had the entire trip.  It was a Moussaka that was individually made for me, after my order.

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my mussaka and Harry’s pizza

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complementary birthday dessert!

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greek salads!

In the busy touristy months they make big casserole portions, but in the winter I had my own to order and boy was it good. 02022020223

The day ended on a terrible note as we hit a wrong button on the camera and lost 11 days of memories, HOWEVER, thanks to friends back home, once we returned, they were able to recover 95% of them… PHEW.

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Learning how Olive Oil is made at Terra Creta on Crete

12/22/12 a.m.

For my birthday I wanted to do something extra fun (not that the entire trip wasn’t fun) so we headed to Terra Creta Olive Farm to watch how they make Olive Oil.  Once again, there was not another tourist in sight and we got the royal treatment including a gift bag with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  It was very sweet.  So, if you have ever wondered how olive oil was processed, I will try to decipher my notes and show you how it happened with some photos.

  • Olives are harvested between Nov. and end of February.
  • Most often (but not always) farmers put a net on the ground then use big rake like tools to hit the big branches and of course catch the olives.
  • Once they are on the ground, the olives are put in burlap bags as soon as possible; each bag holds about 50 kilograms of olives.0196401967
  • After the farmers deliver the olives they are immediately, or at least as fast as possible, placed through a machine that takes the leaves and branches out of the mix.0197001968
  • Our tour guide is one of the analyzer’s of the olives and she helps decide which kind of oil each would make, they look at 2 parameters:

1.  How many olives per kilometer and
2. The acidity of the olives

  • There are 3 containers that the olives are placed in once the acidity has been determined.  The lower the acidity level the better oil it makes. 01976
  • One of the things we learned is that after pollination, bugs might start to eat the olives and when this happens the acidity goes up.  They are trying to balance pesticides and finding organic ways to keep bugs off of them.
  • The olives are then washed.0198201983
  • Once washed they are made into paste01998
  • Then the magic starts; they mix the paste with water, at 27 degrees C (80 F) to make the extra virgin olive oil.01989 01991 01994
  • Bottling occurred in pipes that run underground to another building on site.

After the oil is separated, the pumas is reused for heating their building OR returned to the farmers to feed their animals.

This facility was built 3 years ago and uses solar power for lighting.

All and all it was a great experience and I am really glad we stopped in to tour the plant.  It sure is fun to travel on off season, you get lots of 1:1 attention.

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