Miraculous Olive Oil

The legendary oil that fueled the original Hanukkah miracle, burning brightly for eight days on end, was most certainly olive oil. Capable of wonders both big and small, historically and still to this day, it’s an indispensable staple that’s saved me from all variety of culinary plights. Just as the biblical story exhorts, a little bit of extra virgin olive oil goes a long way.

Why is this the obvious, and only rational choice? While it doesn’t last forever, kept in a dark and cool place, tightly sealed bottles will stay just as fresh for up to a year and a half without any preservatives, high-pressure canning practices, or refrigeration. Plus, it can handle the heat. Contrary to popular belief, extra virgin olive oil does indeed have a high smoke point (400° F), so it can handle anything from a light sauté to a deep (and deeply flavorful) fry. You can bake with olive oil, as well.

Extra virgin olive oil is made by sheer force, extracted by pressure without heat or chemicals. It represents quality you can taste. Virtually free of acidity(below 0.8%,) each oil is judged by experts, who must agree that it meets the high flavor standards to bear the official designation of “extra virgin.” Each bottle that makes the grade must exhibit the presence of nuanced fruity, bitter, and spicy notes, in every bold drop. If these signature components aren’t all in perfect, harmonious balance, it won’t receive the esteemed rating, and you’ll never suffer the injustice of a subpar specimen.

European extra virgin olive oil in particular is held to some of the highest standards. The olive tree has been revered in Europe since antiquity. Over thousands of years, farmers have evolved hundreds of cultivars and optimized them for different environment conditions and terrains to produce the most flavorful yields.

Beyond its legendary piquancy, aroma, and zest, extra virgin olive oil can literally shed a light on the darkness of a largely overlooked holiday practice. The fabled tale of the Hanukkah miracle is more than just mythology, after all. Even without a fancy vessel or ornamental candles, my menorah burns as brightly as ever this year, powered by oil alone. If you have wicks and olive oil, you can make one from scratch in a matter of minutes, too!

Just make sure you save a little drizzle for dessert. While balsamic vinegar often gets all the attention as an unconventional ice cream topper, lending a savory, tangy twist to the usual old frosty scoop, I happen to love the richness that this golden-green elixir adds instead. Vanilla would be most traditional, but what’s to say it doesn’t pair just as well with a luscious spoonful of giandua (hazelnut-chocolate) ice cream, melting luxuriously to mingle with the oil itself?

Quality staples are worthy of a celebration everyday, but especially for the holidays, splurging on really good extra virgin olive oil will taste like a little miracle in every dish.

Olive Oil Menorah

Olive Oil Menorah

Experience your own Hanukkah miracle for a quick, easy menorah made from everyday household items.

Prep Time 1 minute
Active Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • 8 Matching Glass Votives
  • 1 Slightly Larger Glass Votive
  • 9 Pre-Waxed and Tabbed Candle Wicks
  • Floral Stones, Water Beads, or Crystals (Optional)
  • Water
  • 9 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Matches
  • Hot Glue or Crazy Glue

Instructions

  1. Cut the wicks so they measure about 1/4-inch higher than the top of the votives.
  2. Glue the bottoms of the wicks into the centers of each glass.
  3. Add a shallow layer of decorate stones or beads, if desired (just for aesthetics.)
  4. Fill the glasses about 1/2-inch from the top with water
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to each glass.
  6. Carefully light with matches, and bask in the glow of your homemade candles!

Notes

1 tablespoon of olive oil will burn for about 1 hour. Do not leave unattended.

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This review was made possible as a collaboration with Moms Meet and European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

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12 thoughts on “Miraculous Olive Oil

    1. Indeed! Years ago, I switched over from canola to olive oil as my go-to in baking. There are plenty of “light” options that are just as neutral, but so much better for you (and the environment.)

  1. I use olive oil for cooking, too, but I haven’t tried it in any recipes, although “back in the day” before the advent of spreadable butters, I make “Billy butter”, an olive oil-butter mix that tasted good and hopefully helped my husband’s cholesterol levels. :-) Now we use Earth Balance for many things and like that.

    janet

    1. Oh yes, Earth Balance is the classic! I remember when it first became available and it was god-sent for dairy-free bakers the world over. Have you tried Miyoko’s butter, though? It’s like the fancy European equivalent to plain old table spread by comparison. Easily my first choice now.

  2. Also, I would have never thought to make candles like this, not in a million years. I absolutely love the idea. As an Italian, olive oil is very close to my heart, and the idea of making candles from it, means a lot.

    As a side note – This is by far the best product collaboration I’ve ever read. I love that when you write about a product, you give us a fun and interesting way to look at it. I never feel like you are trying to sell your readers on something. Often when I read a post that is in collaboration with a product or group, it feels artificial and I can tell it’s not something the author would normally write about it. I am happy that I can always count on you and your integrity in your writing.

    1. Ani, that means absolutely everything to me. Honestly, I can’t tell you how deeply I appreciate that, because I go through such pains to share only the things that I genuinely love and would recommend in the first place. I hate “selling” my own work, let alone someone else’s’! It was hard for me to start accepting sponsored posts because I never wanted the blog to seem scripted. It’s the greatest compliment that you would say this completely unprompted, because that feels like a real success to me.

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