Thursday, August 25, 2011

Canning Week 2011: Vegetable Day

Today is Vegetable Day on the Canning Week Blog Party and I am going to show you how to can Asparagus.  (Last year I blogged about canning Green Beans so feel free to check out that post.)  I know Asparagus may not be everyones favorite vegetable but when your garden is overflowing with more than you can consume during the growing season; canning is a great way to enjoy that same asparagus later in the year.  I will be using a pressure canner to can this and will give you step by step instructions so you will feel confident enough to try pressure canning on your own.  (Trust me if you can hot water can you can pressure can.)
To start with I cleaned my cut asparagus and cut it to a length that would fit in my jar.  (I used a tall jelly jar for this as I think it compliments the tallness of the Asparagus.)  The discarded ends I pureed into Fresh Asparagus Soup. 
I used the raw pack method for this and placed the asparagus in the hot sterilized jar.  (Raw pack just means the vegetable have not been cooked/fresh and are packed tightly.) 

While I'm packing my jars on the stove I have a pot of boiling water.  Using a funnel on top of the jar I ladle boiling water into the jar, leaving 1 inch head space at the top.  (It's important to use hot water so the temperature of the jars stays warm as this will keep the jars from cracking or breaking when placed in the pressure canner.)
Next I add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each jar.
I wipe down the rim of the jar with a paper towel.  I do this to ensure there is no debris on the rim so my lids will seal completely.
I always have my lids and rings in a bowl of warm water.  I think the water helps the sealant on the lids to become activated and gets the rings to a warm temperature to be placed on the jars.  
Next I place my lid on the jar.
Then I screw the ring down on top of the lid and jar securely.
I then place my jar into the pressure canner on my stove.  At this point I have had the heat on under this canner for awhile but the water is not boiling just getting hot.
Next I place my lid on my canner with a 10 pound weight.  My pressure canner does not have a gauge so I use the weights to know when my canner is pressurized. 
In the upper right section of the picture below you will see a little pressure valve.  When I first put the lid on the valve will be down.  After the the canner has pressurized to meet the weight on top of the vent pipe the valve will pop up.  This lets me know I am read to begin the timer.  (If you have a dial gauge on you canner you would watch the needle until it reaches 10.)  Asparagus should be processed for 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.  At this point to I usually turn down the heat under my canner just a little because I want the canner to maintain this heat level and not continue to increase. 
Once the timer goes off I will turn off the heat underneath the canner and gently tip the 10 pound weight to allow steam to escape from the canner slowly.  It's important to release this pressure slowly so the jars won't break and so bacteria does not form. Please note this will take several minutes.  Once the steam is completely out I still wait until the pressure valve had dropped back down to take the lid off my canner.  (You should only take the lid off when there is no pressure left inside the canner.)   

I will then take my jars out of the canner and set them on a towel to cool.  I will leave them there for 12-24 hours to cool and seal completely.  You will probably start to hear a ping sound and that lets you know the jars are sealing.  Later you can check to make sure your jars sealed by taking the rings off and trying to pull the lid off.  If you can't pull the lid off with your bare hands you know it sealed. 

Now you should go check out what vegetable Jen is canning today on her blog, From Mess Hall to Bistro and what giveaway she has going on.  You can also check out our Facebook Page "from garden plOTT to kitchen pOTT" where you can interact with other canners, ask questions, get tips and more.  And if you are on Pinterest you can check out my Canning Board with a collection of pictures from around the blogosphere.  Also feel free to check out our Canning Linky Party or link up a canning recipe of your own.  You can also vote for which recipe you like best in the linky party by clicking on the like button underneath each posts pictures.  The post with the most likes will win a Ball Home Discovery Canning Kit.
Now on to the give-a-way!!!  If you leave a comment on my blog or Jen's Blog you can enter this giveaway for a box of Pacific Pectin.  I'm certain every good canner could find a use for Pacific Pectin, so leave a comment and then sign up for this great giveaway. 
This post was linked to: Buzz on By Thursday, Sugar & Spice, Thursday's Friends Cafe,  Strut Your Stuff, Show off your Stuff, Pennywise Platter, Recipe Swap, It's a Keeper Thursday,   


Anonymous said...

loved ur tip today I can about everything but hadn't thought about asparagus so next year ill give it a try!

Anonymous said...

Your tips are so easy to follow-I feel like I am standing right there with you in your kitchen.Love your blogs! Lisa>

KatiePerk said...

I have never pressure canned. Thanks for the tutorial!!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Great recipes. I made strawberry jam and marmalade this year :)

Thanks for joining our cafe blog hop, I'm now following you back.

Happy Thursday!

Carmi said...

I would love to can asparagus but we don't grow it. Instead, this weekend we are canning french cut green beans. I would love to use the pint and half jars. Can you purchase them still?

BerryMorins Bits & Tips said...

My husband and I are going to a local farmer's market this Saturday. I'm hoping we'll find some delicious vegetables and fruits to purchase.
I would love to do some canning.
Oh, I bookmarked your blog.

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Urban Chaos said...

It must be in the air...this week I'd already set aside for canning - so far jellies, tomato juice and today ESCABECHE! Found your site though Punk Domestic and will return often :)