Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pickling Asparagus

Every year my husband and I get two or three lug of asparagus it pickle them up.  My husband is from Yakima, WA and we get the asparagus pretty cheep when we go visit his folks on the other side of the mountains.

This year I made my own pickling spice

The LAST jar from 2010   Good timing

fresh fresh fresh

Last night we pickled the first lug.  I couldn't find my recipe from the previous year so I thought I would try something out of this Put em Up book we got this last year.  I didn't think anything of the recipe but I did make a few changes according to what spices I had on hand, nothing that would have a huge impact on the final product.  This morning I wake up to my husband saying we boiled the jars too long.  Now I remember boiling the jars for the same amount of time, I was positive of that.  But something did go wrong.  Upon inspecting his claim I found the asparagus to be stringy, limp, looking nothing like our previous years.
Jars just out of the pot

Next morning.... all wrinkled???

So I went on a hunt for my old recipe this morning and found it.  I also looked at a whole bunch of other recipes while I was at it.  All the recipes vary from 10 min. bath to 20 min. bath.  So I'm fine there.  No way would a few minutes cause such a deformity.  So I started to look into ingredients and guess what.  Every recipe I found has either equal amounts of vinegar and water, or either more water than vinegar.  The recipe I pulled from our canning book had us do a 4 to 1 ratio with vinegar being the 4.  And the vinegar they suggested was cider vinegar.  Here is a link to the page. 

We are expecting our next couple of lugs this weekend when his folks come to visit.  This time we will use our original recipe.

I just found this page that gives me a lot more information about our Yakima grass.   Link
It tell me that the wrinkling will go away after a few weeks on the shelf and it also touches on the subject of vinegar.  From what I can conclude I think this batch will be OK but we will use our old recipe next time.


  1. Wow! I have never heard of pickling asparagus before. Do you prefer it pickled? I love asparagus (roasted with olive oil) but I'm not sure about pickled....Your jar looks impressive!

  2. Whoa.... you have never had??? You are missing out.
    Example: My mother loathes asparagus (to my fathers horror) but she LOVES pickled asparagus.

    I highly recommend trying it. It's really easy to pickle your own. This is the first year out of many that I've had any problems.

  3. I have to try this too! I just love asparagus! It's my fave!

  4. Hi there LaurelsArt,
    Found this because my asparagus shriveled badly too; will see if it recovers or not. I used both salt and alum, not sure if alum is normally used or not (we use it in pickles).
    In the meantime, would you be willing to share your tried-and-true recipe? bmacpiper at me dot com
    Thank you!