My kitchen has been pumping out asparagus and greens pretty regularly now, and as asparagus season in particular is winding down, it's time for me to preserve some of this beautiful, seasonal, local produce. I work pretty hard to feed my family the real food that I am so grateful to have access to. So, the canning, pickling and freezing is something I've added to my repertoire these last few years. One thing I've learned is it's not so scary and hard as I thought. Don't get me wrong, botulism is scary stuff and all, but if I follow the directions and understand the basics, canning is pretty safe. And besides, I don't have to can it at all! Every single thing that is intended to can, can easily and safely be stored in the refrigerator. So, if you're not quite ready to dive into all that waterbath, jars and rings business, don't short yourself the treats, just stick them in the fridge. And if and when you're ready to dive into shelf storage, find the help of a good book or a Grandma with a wealth of knowledge, a phone call away. And the next thing you know you may have a larder that would make your Grandma jealous.
1 pound asparagus, cut to approx 4 inch spears
2 cups rice vinegar, or plain white if that's what you've got
1 1/2 tea pure kosher salt
1 tea sugar
2 tea pickling spice (homemade or purchased blend)
2 cloves of garlic
(makes 2 pints)
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add asparagus, bring back to a boil. Remove from water, drain and transfer to ice water, drain again.
In another pot, bring vinegar, salt and sugar -- with 1 cup of water --to a boil. Divide asparagus into 2 jars. Add 1 tea of pickling spice and 1 clove of garlic to each jar. Ladle the hot vinegar mixture into each jar. At this point, if you have experience water bath canning, follow the steps to do so. If not, allow your mixture to cool and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Here are a couple of books that I really enjoy:
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