Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Ah! Spring just keeps coming on, doesn't it? We're flooded in asparagus here. As always it's hot and summer feeling now- as much as I love asparagus I'd hate to have to pick it all day long. That's brutal work. It makes it a little unbelievable that I can buy it bulk for 79c a pound.
We bought almost 70 pounds yesterday. Today the boys and I prepared 40 for pickling and froze 30 pounds. With Papa's help (after work) we had 26 quarts canned by 9:30, and the boys were desperately hanging on to "help" and perhaps not so coincidentally avoid bedtime.
Here's how I did it: 40 pounds asparagus, washed, ends snapped, then trimmed (we put up the trimmed bits- they're just as good, just not as pretty). I put 1-2 garlic cloves, 1 T pickling spices and sometimes 1/2 a jalapeno in each quart, then stuffed in the garlic spears. Filled almost to the top with boiling hot brine (2 gallons vinegar, 2 gallons water, 4 cups pickling salt), then processed in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. All of them sealed, though one jar did break in the canner.

It feels good, filling the house with food for winter. Canning, even preparing asparagus for freezing, is kind of a pain with little kids- my impatient part wants to just DO it, but they love to help, love to know they're needed, and so it becomes a project to last all afternoon and evening. But it's worth it, I think. They're learning to rely on themselves and their own hard work to get what they want and need, I'm practicing patience, and they went to bed tired but proud.

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