My friend Becky got me on this pickled asparagus bandwagon. I never had even tried pickled asparagus before she told me I would like it and that we should can it together. I would almost say she forced me into it, but that would give off the impression that I am not happy with it- and that is not the truth, so forced is not the right choice of words. It is the same feeling I got when she got me to run my first half marathon a couple years back, it was amazing, rewarding and yet a lot of work. Canning is an effort and it is wonderful to store up for different seasons, but it is a much greater joy when the experience is shared- plus it goes quicker. Are you up for this challenge!?! It isn’t as hard as training for a half marathon by the way, it only takes a bit of one day. So you grab yourself a friend, and convince them to do some caning!!
Here is the way mine ended up working out, if you need to plan for your batch. I bought 46 lbs and it ended up filling 32 quart jars. Becky bought 60 lbs. and got about 40 full quarts.
Mrs. Wanda Wilson’s Spicy Pickled Asparagus Recipe
Liquid ratio: 2 cups Vinegar to 1 cup water.
Depending on how many jars you are filling you will need more or less of this liquid mixture. I recommend heating it in a pot on the stove and ladling it out into each jar as necessary.
2-3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp Red Chilli Pepper Flakes
1 Tbs. Dried Dill Seed (or a few sprigs fresh)
1 tsp Salt
Optional: “Hots” to taste (this just depends on how hot your ‘hots’ are and what type of spice you enjoy. Remember that the flavours will intensify as they sit.) Try to find smallish peppers though, and insert them whole, yes stem and all :)
1) Wash, snap and trim your asparagus to fit into a quart sized jar. Peal the garlic cloves and have them ready to go.
2) If you have caned before, you know the drill: sterilise your jars (you can do this by running them through a dishwasher cycle, the heat will do it).
3) This recipe calls for hot packing, so snatch them out of the dishwasher put in all the spices, peppers and garlic and pack them with the asparagus, pack as tightly as you can, and then add more.
4)Once that is done add the liquid heated to just pre-boil, or boil in a large pot on stove or in the microwave. Pour vinegar and water mixture over the asparagus leaving just about 1/2 inch head-space (meaning don’t fill all the way up leave 1/2 inch).
5)Heat the right amount of lids in boiling water on the stove, when they are ready place them on the jars and screw on the rings. Heat canner (water bath works just fine) water to boil and then fill with jars. Allow water to return to boil and then process the asparagus for 10 min.
6) Remove from canner and place on a counter atop a dishtowel at at least 1 inch apart so the jars can cool. You should hear them seal- it could take a while, it might not. I usually just leave them there overnight and they have all sealed by morning. Now the hardest part is waiting 2 weeks for those pickling juices to take effect, but it is well worth the while!!
And who is Wanda Wilson you may ask?? Well, she is the awesome lady who taught Becky this recipe, and she taught me. It is all about passing things on and sharing right!?! I haven’t met her, but I am sure Mrs. Wanda Wilson is of the spectacular sort, you will too after you try this recipe.