Barbara Norconk’s Pickled Asparagus
Each spring, Barbara makes enough pickled asparagus to last until the next asparagus season. “Our friends and family just expect it to appear whenever we are invited to dinner,” she says.
6 clean, large-mouth 1/2-gallon jars, sterilized by rinsing in boiling water 6 new lids and rings, washed and sterilized in boiling water 7 pounds cleaned asparagus* 6 cups pickling vinegar 8 cups water 4 tablespoons canning salt 6 teaspoons garlic powder 6 teaspoons mustard seed 6 teaspoons poppy seed 6 teaspoons fennel seed 6 teaspoons celery seed 6 teaspoons caraway seed 6 tablespoons dried dill 3 fresh jalapeño peppers, cut in half lengthwise 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
Bring vinegar, water and canning salt to a boil and simmer on medium. While brine is coming to a boil, pack whole asparagus spears in jars as tightly as possible. Add 1 teaspoon of the following to each filled jar: Garlic powder, mustard seed, poppy seed, fennel seed, celery seed, caraway seed. Then add 1 tablespoon of dried dill, half of a fresh jalapeño pepper and 2 cloves of garlic to each jar. Pour hot brine over filled jars to 3/4 inch of jar top. Place lid and ring on top and seal. Jar lids should pop and seal as brine cools. Asparagus should be ready to eat in 2 to 3 weeks. *To clean asparagus, turn spears upside-down and swish in warm water for 15 seconds. This will cause the tips to open slightly and the sand to fall out. Rinse entire spears a second time in warm water. Place spears on a towel to drain.