Posted by: locaphile | August 6, 2012

More Pickle Projects: Cukes & Asparagus

We fired up the big red burner again on one of the hottest days of summer so I could get into some more pickle projects.  Armed with 9.5 pounds of pickling cucumbers from Never Say Die Nursery via the Haney Farmers Market, Dill Weed from Maple Market, and 3.5 pounds of asparagus plus all manner of salts and vinegars from a local supermarket we were ready to start sterilizing the jars.

In trying to avoid the BPA lids in canning jars we have acquired some lovely WECK jars with glass lids that are labelled “1/2 Litre Asparagus.”  We have put garlic scapes in them in previous years but it seemed like a good idea to try to pickle asparagus.  I found so many recipes in my books and each of them was not quite what I had in mind.  So I made it up: cider vinegar, water, salt and sugar for the brine to go with dill weed heads, sliced garlic, mustard seed and red pepper flakes in each elegant jar.  I cut the asparagus to what I thought would be the right length (too short by the end) and stuffed the six jars full.  The hot brine turned everything a bit pink but they came out of the hot water bath looking quite good.  They do look a bit scrawny so I think next time I will try to find fatter asparagus spears.  Now we have to wait six weeks or so to see how they taste.

Simultaneously, we were whipping up a batch of brine for the pickling cucumbers.  For this BPA-free canning project we used TATTLER REUSABLE CANNING LIDS and 1.5 litre jars that we found by the side of the road a few years back  These dill pickles are in a white vinegar, water and salt brine to go with dill heads, mustard seeds and home-grown garlic and bay leaves in each jar.  They were quite yummy last year but there were not enough of them so I will overdo it this year.  This is the second batch and our own pickling cucumbers are just getting growing in the garden.  More.  Yum.

Onward towards pickled beans (when there are a few more around) and all manner of tomatoes – sauces, pastes, salsas, etc.  I hope our tomato plants will get out of their doldrums soon as I have great plans for their fruit.

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