Boozy Infusions and a Homemade Strawberry Daiquiri

If you enjoy the occasional cocktail, as I do, a great way to improve a cheap bottle of vodka (or I bet this would be good with gin too) is to infuse the vodka with your favourite berry or fruit. It’s so simple, and so delicious. All you need to do is fill a jar about 3/4 full with the fruit of your choice, and cover with vodka. If you like, you can first add a bit of sugar to the fruit, shake the jar to cover the fruit, let sit a few minutes, and then add the vodka. I did this only with the rhubarb, because it helps draw the moisture out of the rhubarb a bit more. Most berries are plenty sweet and give up their juices easily, so in my opinion don’t need the added sugar.

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Close the jars, give them a shake, and wait. The strawberry and raspberry that I made actually tasted pretty good after only a few days, but I’d leave rhubarb a bit longer. I left them all a couple of weeks before straining. Occasionally, when you pass them and think of it, give the jar a shake.

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Taste it every few days, or just leave it for a couple weeks. After the taste of the vodka meets your satisfaction, strain the fruit through cheesecloth or or a coffee filter.


Straining the rhubarb vodka.

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A few weeks later, host a delightful cocktail party! 😉 Mix with tonic water and enjoy.

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With the vodka soaked strawberries I decided to make a homemade daiquiri. All I did was combine the berries with about 8 ice cubes, a splash of lime juice, and a tiny bit of sugar and blended it up in the blender. Oh man. So good. I could probably use the blueberries for something delicious too, but the rhubarb I’m not sure. Add it to a pie?



Infuse your booze!

A “berry” good weekend – things to do with strawberries

Believe it or not, strawberry season is wrapping up here next week! So sad! However, I did do a pretty good job taking advantage of the berries this year. We bought a chest freezer, so I’ve frozen a bunch, and I did some dehydrating, canning, and wine making with the rest last weekend. A berry good weekend indeed. For many of you, berry season is probably just beginning, but whether this is your last week, or first, here is some inspiration for things to do with your berries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling – my first blog post ever, and still one of my favourite recipes. The universe is telling us to put these two awesome items together by having them mature at the same time – you should really listen.



Strawberry Fruit Leather – Since this post, I’ve learned adding some apple sauce or other more fibrous fruit helps with the cracking and crispiness issue. But I also still love it with just strawberries.



Strawberry jam – a classic favourite of course. Or on the wilder side, add some wine to your jam and try this strawberry pinot noir jam.

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Strawberry wine – heck yes! It’s really not as hard as it seems by the length of the post. You should really really try it. Shorter, point form directions coming soon to entice you more, since not all of you have the attention span for this novel of a post.

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Or a non-alcoholic beverage  (or alcohol optional I should say) – strawberry lemonade concentrate!

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Got a couple handfuls left over still? Flavour some vinegar (or vodka? Post coming soon on that, but it’s basically the same as vinegar)


Now go, quickly, before they are gone!! Pick some berries! Eat some berries! Can some berries! Dry some berries! Love the berries! And don’t forget to eat some fresh – sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in preservation.  And lay off the caffeine! (Oh wait, that one’s for me.)

Victorian Barbecue Sauce

I’ve had a lot of rhubarb coming in lately, so I decided to go for something a little different this time, and whipped up some Victorian barbecue sauce from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. This is great on chicken, and I bet it would be nice on pork as well. It tastes surprisingly good and is quite easy to make. I am trying to get away from store bought braises and sauces for meat, and this is a delicious replacement; a nice combo of sweet and tart.

8 cups chopped rhubarb
3.5 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1.5 cups chopped raisins
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt

Here’s how we made it:

Chop up the rhubarb, onions, and raisins.

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Combine all the ingredients in a stainless steal pot.

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This turns to brown muck pretty fast! Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir frequently and reduce to a simmer. We cooked the sauce for about a half hour. You want it to be the consistency of a barbecue sauce. Not too thick though… spreadable.

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I ended up pureeing it because I forgot to chop the raisins. This dummie just through them in. It should kind of be a pureed consistency anyways since it’s a sauce, so just don’t forget to chop the raisins 😉 Meanwhile, prepare the canner, jars and lids. This makes about 4 pints.

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Fill the hot jars, leaving a half inch head space. I hate to say it, but it kind of looks like we were canning up diarrhea. Yep, I said it. Gross. But it tastes really good. Anyways, that was awkward. Wipe the rims, apply the lids, and tighten the bands finger tip tight. Place jars in canner, covered by at least 1-2 inches of water, bring to a full rolling boil and process for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Listen to them ping! Cool 12-24 hours, wipe jars, label and store.

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Try this sauce on barbecued chicken. It’s really delicious.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Strawberries and rhubarb are perfect for each other – a delicious match of sweet and tart! This recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio of strawberries to rhubarb, but you are welcome to do a little less rhubarb if you want. I love the tartness of it though, and would actually recommend doing this with a reduced sugar pectin and less sugar to really let the rhubarb shine. Here are the ingredients as written in the  Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, but the low sugar sure jell does 6 cups of berries to 4 cups sugar, so I think I’d go for that level of sweetness next time.

2 cups crushed strawberries
2 cups chopped rhubarb
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 package powdered fruit pectin
5.5 cups granulated sugar

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Step one for this jam is preparing the canner, jars and lids. It’s another pectin recipe so is a quick one. This will yield about 6-7 half pints.

Mix together the crushed strawberries, rhubarb, pectin, and lemon juice in a deep stainless steel saucepan. Measure out the sugar and set it aside so it can be added all at once.

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Bring the jam to a boil over high heat. Stir, stir, stir! Once boiling, dump in the sugar and return to a boil. Once at a full boil, maintain for one minute, remove from heat, skim foam and fill jars.

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Fill the jars, leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids, and tighten bands finger tip tight. Place filled jars in the canner, covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a full rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Cool 12-24 hours, remove bands, wipe clean, label and store.

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Such a beautiful and delicious jam!

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Rhubarb Orange Jam

I’ve been itching to can with the warm weather we’ve been having, but there is not too much in season quite yet. One thing that is ready to go though is rhubarb! So I cracked open my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, looked up rhubarb in the glossary and found this rhubarb orange jam recipe. I went full sugar for this recipe, since rhubarb and orange sounded like quite the tart combination, but you rhubarb lovers are welcome to pick up a box of low sugar pectin if you so desire. It’s really quite a delicious combination of sweet and tart. I enjoyed my little bit of leftovers on an English muffin.

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This recipe yields 7 half pints.

2 oranges
5 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1 package fruit pectin
6 cups sugar

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Here’s how it’s done. This is a nice and easy pectin jam, and dang is it delicious!

First prepare your canner, jars, and lids. This recipe is a quick one.

Finely chop the rhubarb. Peel one half of one of the oranges and chop the peel finely. Juice the two oranges and measure the juice. You want at least a full cup, so if you don’t have quite enough top it off with a bit of water.

Combine the orange juice, rhubarb and pectin in a large pot. Stir to dissolve the pectin.

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Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once at a full boil add the sugar all at once. I let it boil a minute or two before adding the sugar, just to get the rhubarb nice and soft.

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Bring the mixture back to a full boil. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Once at a full boil, time one minute of hard boiling. Remove from heat.

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Fill the jars, leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe the rims, apply the lids, and tighten the bands finger tip tight. Place the full jars in the canner, covered by at least one inch of water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel.

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Isn’t that a gorgeous jam!?

Let the jars cool 12-24 hours, check the seals, remove the bands, label and store. This jam is delicious and so easy! If you have the canning itch too, make it, you won’t regret it.

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Rhubarb Strawberry Pie Filling

I thought my first canning post should be one of my most favourite recipes that I have canned many times, so we will start with Rhubarb Strawberry Pie Filling. This recipe is modified from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving which is one of my favourite canning books.

I tend to be a “go big or go home” type of canner so I like to do more than the recipe calls for, but sometimes (like in the case of jam) that isn’t always the best idea. Here, however, as long as you have a big enough pot I think it’s totally the way to do it. I’ll write the proportions as in the book, but I did just over 1.5x the recipe for this venture, which yielded just over 4 quarts. As written the recipe will make 5 pints.


  • 3 large apples (a good cooking variety) peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 7 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups halved hulled strawberries


Here’s what I did:

Prepare the canner, jars and lids. I prefer to put pie fillings into quart jars since I use a quart for a pie, but it’s nice to prepare a smaller jar too in case the yield isn’t exact or you want a pint full for a crumble or something.

I like to cut all the rhubarb up first. Since I have it in my yard I harvest as much as I think the plant can handle (they say to harvest no more than 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant at a time so it can recover). Then I calculate how much I need of all my other ingredients based on how much rhubarb I have. Then I just eat the leftover strawberries since I always buy (or better yet you-pick) too many. For buying purposes, one good sized stalk of rhubarb when cut up is just a little more than a half cup. Cut the rhubarb into about one inch pieces.



Peel and core the apples and chop them very finely. Juice and zest the orange and combine with the apple in a large stainless steel pot. Stir to coat the apples then add in the chopped rhubarb and sugar.


Over medium-high heat bring this mixture to a boil. Stir constantly and boil until the rhubarb becomes soft, but not to the point that it turns to mush, about 10-12 minutes.


Add the strawberries and return to a boil.


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Remove the mixture from the burner.


Fill the hot jars, leaving a one inch head space.



Once you have removed any air bubbles and adjusted your head space, place your lids on the jar, tighten the band finger tip tight, and place the jars in your hot water bath canner.


Ensure the jars are covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil. The processing time for this recipe is 15 minutes. Begin timing once the water reaches a full rolling boil.


Once the 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes then remove the jars from the canner. Listen for the delightful sound of your jars sealing! When the jars are fully cool (12-24 hours), remove the bands, wipe the jars clean, label the lids, and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Enjoy a delicious pie whenever you desire!


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