So many things to pickle, so little time!  These have been on my list for a while…and the family says they’re worth the effort.  The recipe itself is straightforward, just give yourself time to measure your asparagus and then process it as well.  I found this one in Canadian Living’s, ‘The Complete Preserving Book’ – enjoy!

Pickled Asparagus Spears – makes 3, 500 mL (2 cup) jars

3 to 4 lbs. asparagus – trimmed to fit into 3 wide-mouthed 500 mL jars with 2 cm head space

12 sprigs fresh dill

6 cloves garlic

1 T. mustard seeds

2 c. water AND 2 T. sugar AND 1 T. pickling salt

Sterilize your jars and then while they’re still hot, pack 4 sprigs of dill, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds in each.  Tightly pack in the asparagus, tips down – this is the tricky part – you want as many as you can possibly jam in, without breaking them.

In a medium pot, bring the water, sugar and pickling salt to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer and stir for 3 minutes.  Carefully pour this hot brine into your prepared jars leaving a 1 cm head space.  Poke in a knife or long, skinny utensil in to remove the air bubbles.

Cover the jars with the sanitized disks, and then screw on the bands just until resistance is met, then carefully increase until fingertip tight.  Boil in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat, take the lid off the canner and leave the jars to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes.  Lift up the rack.

Using canning tongs, transfer the jars to a rack and leave them to cool for 24 hours.  Allow the pickled asparagus to sit for about a week before enjoying for the fullest flavor.

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