The Season Begins

Around here the fist big canning crop is strawberries but before this comes asparagus.  Unless one grows her own, these spears are an expensive canning proposition simply because the spears are expensive and there is so much waste.  Once the asparagus is sized to the canning jar there still remains 3 or 4 inches of quality, eatable vegetable.  Commercially, most pickled asparagus is canned in foreign countries where the crop is cheap and the labor cheaper.  The problem is that all the bad pesticides that are harmful to us are in those foreign pickles so it is best to leave them on the shelve.  If you demand spears then use the leftover sections to make cream of asparagus soup.  But a way to make the whole spear go into the jar is to cut the spears into “bullets”-little 1 & 2 inch sections that fit in easily(even a half pint).  These bullets work wonderfully in salads, to color as well as flavor such main course accompaniments such as potatoes or rice, and work exquisitely as an hors d’oeuvre with the bullet balanced on top of the likes of chicken salad on toast points.


Place in each pint jar (half this amount for 1/2 pints):

  • 1 to 2 inch snippets of blanched asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon whole celery seed
  • 1 slice of lemon, peel on
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic

To make the pickling solution:

  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 7 tablespoons pure salt.

Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for one minute.  Allow to cool before cutting into bullets. discarding tough end sections.  Load jars in accordance with recipe and bring pickling solution to a boil.  Fill jars to canning line, loosely lid following water bath instructions in previous blogs, and waterbath to 182 deg, F.  Wait two minutes, remove, tighten lids, replace thermometer lid, and invert all jars for two minutes.  Perform tests as required-see previous blogs.

Enjoy this gourmet treat year-round.  I often put a few in salads, put a bullet on top of deviled eggs, I’ve even been caught helping myself straight out of the jar! Enjoy!

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