Recipe Corner: Asparagus Pickles

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Ingredients:

5 lbs. fresh asparagus

3 quarts water

1 quart vinegar

1/2 cup salt

Pickling spice in a bag

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5 large cloves garlic, peeled

Dried chili peppers (optional)

Preparation:

Wash and sterilize canning jars.

Clean and cut asparagus.  Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water; cool in ice water.  To make the brine, boil water, vinegar, salt and pickling spice in a bag.  Cool for 20 minutes.  Place garlic in each quart jar and chili, if used.  (For an extra boost of dill flavor, tuck some fresh dill weed in with asparagus.)

Pack asparagus in jar; fill with brine and secure a sterilized lid and band onto each jar.  Once the jars have cooled, refrigerate them for at least a week before eating. (this will keep in the refrigerator for at least a month.)

NOTE: If you want to can asparagus for long-term storage, immediately after pouring in the hot liquid and sealing the jars, process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours before moving them.  Will keep for up to a year.  Canning the asparagus will make them less crispy.  Choose thicker asparagus.

Recipe from A Harvest of Recipes Cookbook, Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church, Fresno, California.  Recipe submitted by Florence Mazgedian, reprinted from the 1985 Dorcas Guild Cookbook.