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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Home Canned Asparagus

Last year I planted five asparagus roots not realizing there would be a very good possibility of us moving this year. Asparagus takes three seasons to mature enough for picking so I won't see a crop from what I planted. Local asparagus is in season so I stopped at the farmer's market for some. The price this year is $1.49 per pound which isn't bad.

Fresh Asparagus

Fresh asparagus is best when the spears are young and tender. To keep the spears fresh until you use them, place cut ends into a tray with about an inch of water.

By far our preferred method of cooking asparagus is lightly steamed. Some vegetables are better preserved by other methods than canning. The reason usually is freezing or drying give better texture and flavour. Asparagus was one of those vegetables I had not canned due to very vivid memories of store bought canned asparagus that had a slimy, mushy texture and over cooked appearance. I decided to can a small batch of six jars this year to see the results. The amount of asparagus canned was roughly 3 bunches or about 1 1/2 lb.

Homecanned Asparagus

Canning asparagus is very easy but because it is a low acid food it must be processed in a pressure canner. Asparagus can be raw or hot packed but since the processing time is the same, I used raw pack. Raw pack is quicker and gives a better end product, in my opinion.

Wash and drain the asparagus. Cut the ends off and cut into 4-inch pieces. Pack into hot jars as tightly as possible without crushing the spears. Add 1/2 tsp (optional) salt to each pint. Pour boiling water over the vegetables leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim of jar then place two piece lids on. Process pints 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

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