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Asparagus - Raw PackYou can pack most (not all) vegetables by either raw pack or hot pack (heated in water first). The only difference is that the raw pack may tend to float a little bit in the jar because the oxygen has not been driven off by the heat as the hot pack method does. This makes no difference to the quality unless you are entering something in the county fair -- and raw pack is a lot quicker and easier.
1) Put a large pot of water on to boil - enough water to cover the asparagus in the jars. Bring water to boil and hold while you prepare the squash.
2) Wash the asparagus thorough - soak in water in the sink and swish around - they actually grow up through the soil and dirt can get inside all those little nooks.
3) Snap each spear off toward the end - the spear will break at the point where the tender upper portion meets the woody base portion. Discard the lower woody portion (or save it for dehydrated vegetable boullion powder).
4) Cut each spear so it fits in your jar with a little over 1" of headspace between the top of the asparagus and the top of the jar. You want to be able to cover with water when filled - and you need the liquid to leave a 3/4" to 1" headspace in the jar.
A nice jar to use is the 1 1/2 pint tall wide mouth - but they are hard to find. I did not have any, so the picture is using a regular wide mouth pint. You can see that I cut the spear twice to fill the jar. Put the smaller extra pieces in another jar and jan that as well. To use, puree and strain - then use to make cream of asparagus soup.
5) Pack each jar firmly - I use a butter knife to help line things up. The spears will shrink when they are cooked - so pack as tightly as possible.
6) If desired, add 1/2 tsp canning salt per pint or 1 tsp canning salt per quart.
I use half this amount of salt and it is works nicely.
7) Fill jars with boiling water - debubble and add seals and rings.
5) Place jars in Pressure-Canner and process according to manufacturer instructions:
(You know - the usual - vent for 10 minutes - add the weight and bring up to pressure)
Process at 10# in a weighted gauge canner and 11# in a dial gauge canner
(at sea level).
*** IMPORTANT ***
Make Sure to Adjust for Your Altitude (Altitude Adjustment Chart)
Pints: 30 minutes
Quarts: 40 minutes
Note: If using odd size jars - always round up -- so 1 1/2 pint jars would time the same as quarts.
If you are new to canning - or just want to see how I do it - check out my Personal Canning Routine
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