I hated olives as a child.
Once, my Dad… in some sort of sick and twisted joke convinced my brother and I that if we ate a big, black olive (the worst kind there is!) that we could open a Christmas present early.  My dearly departed super-strict Christian Grandparents’ box had just arrived in the mail and one of the presents was small and VERY heavy and the curiostiy was just about killing us.  (Now you may be reading and thinking, Hey Parisienne Farmgirl… “I would call YOU super-strict Christian” – well, I wouldn’t but… fair enough… however… these Grandparents, bless their hearts sent us games like Bible Checkers when we wanted Strawberry Shortcake and Legos… you get the picture.)
So, me, who NEVER wants to know a surprise early, who, till this day would NEVER peak at a present before it’s intended open date… well, I just HAD to know what that small, heavy package was and so, I gagged down a big, black olive.  Dry heaving with tears streaming down my little girl cheeks.
I was full of anticipation over the heavy mystery gift…
You won’t believe this.
It was a piece of petrified wood.  Grandpa said it was from the days of Noah.

My brother… to this day swears that he didn’t actually swallow the olive but instead successfully fooled our Dad.  
Can you believe that?
I am still traumatized… by the taste of the big, black, gross olive and the disappointment over such a stupid gift.  
These days, I do love olives… green and provançal style that is.  Don’t you dare serve me black olives – cause I will gag.
At the French bistros in the area once you are seated they serve you a small ramekin of tapanade and I just had to figure out how to make it for my family.  Here is the recipe we enjoy… no petrified wood surprises either.  
Pinky swear.
Four cups green olives (I use Lindsay from Costco and with pimentos is fine)
1 1/2 cup Greek Olives
3 large carrots
1/2 cup lemon juice (I use Volcanic Organic Lemon Juice)
1/2 cup Canola or Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Italian seasonings
2 Tablespoons white wine mustard
Using a food processor chop the carrots to approx. 1/2 inch pieces, then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse chop, scraping the sides down as needed.
Slather onto fresh or toasted baguette and enjoy.
Other ingredients you can add…
Red Peppers

Bon Appetit!
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