Before I start getting into recipes, I’m sorry to say it’s been a difficult few days for us- Jay’s grandma Dotty passed away on Saturday. We’re all really torn up, we adored her. She was an amazing cook & an amazing grandma. She wasn’t my grandma by blood but I couldn’t have loved her more if she was. What a beautiful soul, inside & out (as you can see). I’m sorry that I won’t be making her her much-requested apricot or strawberry sugar-free jam this year… she’ll be missed terribly.
My heart hurts.
Dorothy Liff ¤ October 2, 1923 – March 29, 2014
This recipe was written up last week, ready to go, & Grandma Dotty was big into cooking (which I’ll be writing more about very soon). She’d have wanted to hear more about all my recipes, or what I was making, so here it is. There’s no segue into this… and I feel weird doing so… but away we go.
We’re all patiently waiting for spring, right? I mean it technically IS spring. But we’re all waiting for it to get more spring-y. So spring veggies are a good sign, no? Now, let me just say: I don’t like asparagus. Not one bit. That said, it’s everywhere in the springtime, rearing its weird little pointy kinda flowery little heads all over the place.
I don’t even like the way it smells.
My mother & Jay LOVE asparagus. LOVE it. I don’t have the foggiest clue why really. It’s not attractive in the least. And like I said; the smell? No thanks.
Unlike broccoli… which I plan on pickling soon as well. Broccoli has a nice, fresh smell. And it’s delicious.
Did I get sidetracked?
But anyway, I made some pickled asparagus. And it is appropriate for spring, I will admit. I think we all need a shot of spring to get us moving. I enjoy making things for the people I care about, and I love canning, so I figure suffering through a little asparagus smell isn’t so bad once in a while. Not only that but it’s been all OMGSOMUCHWHISKEY around here lately so I thought I’d lighten things up.
Plus, once it’s in the jar it looks kinda pretty.
Recipe can be doubled, tripled and quadrupled as needed
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed to fit your jars and blanched in boiling water for approximately 10 seconds
- 3/4 cup vinegar (half apple cider vinegar, half white vinegar, about 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of each)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pickling spice
- 3/4 teaspoon red hot chili flakes
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 slice of lemon
- Sterilize your jars, and make sure the asparagus will fit. *
- Put the lemon slice in the bottom of the jar and pack the trimmed and blanched asparagus into the jars (it’s up to you to determine whether you want to go tips up or down). Tuck a garlic clove down amongst the asparagus spears.
- Bring the vinegar, water and various spices to a boil. Pour into jar over the top of asparagus, leaving at least 1/2 inch of head space.
- Put lids and rings on and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (you can skip this step if you plan on just putting your pickles in the fridge).
- Wait at least 24 hours before eating, to “give the asparagus spears a chance to get sufficiently pickly”, as Marisa says.
* I happened to use 1 1/2 pint (24 oz) Ball jars that are taller than pint jars, meaning I didn’t have to clip off as much of my asparagus, and also fit a bit more into it. You could also use Kerr 12 oz jars, which are also a bit taller than pint jars.
If you do have to trim a lot off of the bottom of yours, you can also make a small jar of pickled asparagus “bites.” Don’t let anything go to waste! If you love asparagus (which you probably do if you’re making this), why would you?
If you don’t happen to have any brine left over, just make a little more. Use an 8-ounce jar to pack in the little cut-off asparagus parts, and make it just like you would a larger jar. They probably won’t last long, so you can store them in the fridge without a water bath.