Asparagus Pickles

Now I'm not setting out to turn this into a food blog, but I'm very exciting to be learning all about gardening and canning this summer. I love food a lot. And the more I learn about the food I buy at the store the more it freaks me out. So I will be posting some of my food adventures for you all to share in.

This week my mother and I bought 20 pounds of gorgeous fresh asparagus. It was a mixed batch and we sorted out the thick and thin stalks. The thick tops got blanched and frozen, the thin tops got pickled. The middles were half pureed for soup (and I have invented a wooonderful asparagus soup by the way) and half chopped up fairly small and then blanched and frozen. The woody ends were boiled down for stock and canned with a dash of olive oil and a minced clove of garlic. That's a whole lot of asparagus love!

If you are thinking "asparagus pickles...intriguing!" then read on for the recipe.

10 pounds of asparagus makes 6 quarts of pickles.

First each jar gets 1 clump of dill, 4 cloves of garlic and 1 small jalapeno.

Then you pack as much asparagus in as you can manage. We put a mark on the cutting board to make it easier to cut the asparagus to the right length.

While you are doing this, you should have a pot on the stove with your brine boiling in it. The brine includes 4 cups of vinegar , 10 cups of water and 1 cup pickling salt.

Once your jar is full of asparagus, pour the brine in until it is full up to the top of the body of the jar. Then make sure the top of the jar is completely clean (or it won't seal) and put the lid on. The lids should be in a small pot of boiling water to soften the seals. Once the lid is on and screwed shut with a ring the jars go into the canner.

The canner needs to have enough water to cover all the jars (we can fit 7 quart jars in ours). Bring the water to a roiling boil and let it boil for a few minutes (5 or so). Then remove the jars and wait to hear the pops as the jars seal. They should pop in the first few minutes, but a couple of ours took their time.

Huzzah, spicy asparagus pickles for all! You should give them a try, they are very yummy and a fun addition to the ho hum pickle dish.


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