Asparagus – Time to Pickle

Photo: Box of

Asparagus season is drawing to a close, depending where you live. If you’ve reached your limit of fresh asparagus, and can’t possibly make any more asparagus soup, try Hannah Glasse’s recipe for pickled asparagus.

From The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (first published in 1747):

Take the largest asparagus you can get, cut off the white ends, and wash the green ends in spring water, then put them in another clean water, and let them lie two or three hours in it; then have a large broad stew pan full of spring water with a good large handful of salt; set it on the fire, and when it boils put in the asparagus, not tied up but loose, and not too many at a time, for fear you break the heads. – Just scald them, and no more, take them out with a broad skimmer and lay them on a cloth to cool. – Then for your pickle take a gallon, or more according to your quantity of asparagus, of white wine vinegar, and one ounce of bay-salt, boil it, and put your asparagus in your jar; to a gallon of pickle, two nutmegs, a quarter of an ounce of mace, the same of whole white pepper, and pour the pickle hot over them. Cover them with a linen cloth, three or four times double, let them stand a week longer, boil the pickle again, and pour it on hot as before. When they are cold, cover them close with a bladder and leather.


About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.

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