Pressure Canning Asparagus
One of my goals for this year was to pressure can. I didn’t specify what I wanted to pressure can because I knew when the right opportunity presents itself that I would know that it was time to try my hand at pressure canning. Last year I borrowed a pressure canner from a friend. It was a very large pressure canner that required a lot of water. My poor little burner in our last house could not heat the water enough to get the pressure high enough to actually can anything. My little rickety stove was not cut out for that hard of work.
For Christmas my mom bought me a pressure canner! I was excited that it smaller than the jumbo sized pressure canner that my friend loaned me, and I was even more elated after I read the instructions to find out that the pressure canner required a fraction amount of water that the other pressure canner required. As it turns out newer pressure canners require less water than older pressure canners making them faster to heat and much more energy efficient. I also found that my newer pressure canner made less hissing noises and did not shake like the older pressure canner. The thing that I appreciated most on my new pressure canner was the emergency plug. If for some reason or another the pressure builds up too high inside the pressure can instead of exploding, the emergency plug will pop open and the pressure inside the can will be released. If you are standing near the pressure canner when the plug bursts open, you will probably get burnt from the steam, but this is a far less serious injury than being hit by a piece of metal. The little emergency plug gives me the peace of mind that I need to comfortably pressure can. I am generally all for buying things used to save money, but in this case I would buy a new pressure canner or buy a used newer model to get the added safety features of the newer models.
Low acid foods such as asparagus have to be pressure canned. A boiling water canner is not sufficient. The first and most important rule of canning is to be safe. You don’t want to take short cuts that could potentially harm you later on down the road. With that said I love to can. I am really excited that readers seem to be interested in my canning projects this year. I remember posting canning projects last year, and I would get maybe ten readers. This year more people seem to be interested in canning or perhaps my blog has finally found the right audience; either way I am really grateful for all of my readers both my old readers who have been with me for a while now and my new readers who have recently found my blog. Thank you! I hope you enjoy watching my canning adventure this year. I have included a tab at the top of my blog for my canning inventory. I plan to post all of the recipes that I can this year. I also plan to continue to post my other kitchen adventures that I have like great tasting meals, cheese making, and wine making. Lastly, I plan to finish my 10 cooking goals for 2011.
Ingredients (makes about 1 quart or 2 pints) from Ball Blue Book p 66
3 ½ pounds asparagus per quart, washed and cut into 1” pieces and scaled removed
Iodine free salt (optional but this enhances the flavor of the asparagus later)
Bring a saucepot full of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and bring the water back to a boil. Boil the asparagus for 3 minutes. Put the asparagus into hot sterile jars leaving 1” headspace. If you would like salt in your asparagus, add ½ tsp of salt to each pint jar or 1 tsp of salt to each quart jar. Add boiling water to each jar leaving 1” headspace. Remove any bubbles and add more water if necessary. Place a lid on top of each jar and adjust the band around each jar until fingertip tight. Process pint jars for 30 minutes or quarts at 40 minutes under 10 pounds of pressure.
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