Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Celebrate the Holidays with Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup!

The Wild Hibiscus Flower Company is a small family owned & operated firm run by a passionate team in Sydney, Australia. Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup are the original creation of Lee Etherington who invented the product 11 years ago in 1997.
Wild Hibiscus Flowers are unique in all the world and are now sold in 30 countries across the globe through retailers as prestigious as Harvey Nichols in London, Citarella in New York, Galerie Lafayette in Paris, and Passiflora in Hillsdale, NY.
Happy Holidays 
Passiflora Home!

Here are a few of our Favorite recipes for you to play with during your Holiday Festivities.  If you are inspired and have your own recipes, please share them with us and we will post them here. 

Hibiscus, Warm Brie and Almond Crostini
24 servings
1 jar Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup
(reserve the syrup)
8 oz. Brie
1 baguette, sliced diagonally
3/4 cup sliced almonds, with skin
Garnish: snipped chives or fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 450° F. Drain hibiscus flowers and reserve syrup. Cut each flower in half.  Cut brie into 1/4-inch-thick slices sized to cover about three quarters of a baguette slice. Spread the almonds in a flat dish. Press brie firmly onto the bread slices then, face down, into the almonds.  Place crostini right side up on baking sheet and bake until brie is soft, bread is crispy, and nuts are lightly toasted, about 4 to 6 minutes.  Right before serving, top each one with a hibiscus flower, drizzle lightly with reserved syrup and garnish with a touch of herbs.
Tip:  To thicken hibiscus syrup, bring to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until syrup is reduced by 1/3 or coats the back of a spoon. Syrup will thicken more as it cools.

Hibiscus Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
4 to 6 starter servings

1 jar Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 cups mixed salad greens (about one 5-oz bag)
1 large orange, peeled and diced

Drain hibiscus flowers and reserve syrup. Cut each flower in quarters, set aside.
Combine the poppy seeds, mustard and cider vinegar in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved syrup.  Whisk in the olive oil and season to taste.  Add the greens to the dressing and gently toss. Divide among plates and scatter with orange pieces and hibiscus flowers. Serve immediately.
Save remaining syrup to add to cocktails or lemonade.

Grilled Chicken & Hibiscus Skewers with Sassy Ginger Dipping Sauce
4 skewers
1 jar Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup
1 Tbsp. finely minced or grated fresh ginger
1/2 to 1 tsp. hot sauce
3 green onions (scallions)
1 to1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 32 pieces
Vegetable oil as needed
Salt and pepper
4 metal skewers or 10" heavy wood skewers soaked in water

Drain hibiscus flowers, reserving syrup in a small bowl.
To make the dipping sauce: Mix ginger and hot sauce into the reserved syrup.
Trim and cut each green onion into 4 pieces. Thread each skewer as follows: 2 pieces of
chicken, 1 piece of green onion, then 1 hibiscus flower*; repeat twice; then finish with 2
pieces of chicken. Lightly brush skewers with oil and season to taste with salt and
Preheat grill to medium-high. Cook skewers until chicken is cooked through, about 4 to 5
minutes per side. Drizzle skewers with dipping sauce and serve extra on the side.
*Cut one flower in half if needed; jars contain approximately 11–12 flowers.

Hibiscus Berry Sundae
4 servings

This sundae is also excellent built on a slice of angle food or pound cake.

1 jar Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 cup fresh raspberries or quartered strawberries
Whipped cream
Chopped pistachio nuts (optional)

Drain hibiscus flowers and reserve syrup. Cut each flower in half.
Scoop ice cream into 4 bowls. Scatter with berries and then drizzle with the hibiscus
syrup. Top with a pouf of whipped cream and scatter with hibiscus flowers and nuts.
Serve immediately


1 quart vodka
Rind of 1/2 lemon 
1/4 - 1/3 cup Hibiscus Syrup
Rose water (available at Indian and specialty grocers)

First, pour yourself a nice stiff shot of the vodka and enjoy it while you prepare the lemon peel. Remove as much of the white as possible. Add it, the Hibiscus Syrup, lemon rind and a few drops of rose water (if desired) to the bottle of vodka. Close bottle tightly, shake gently and allow to stand at room temperature for one week or more. Shake the bottle form time to time when the mood strikes you. When ready to serve, strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter and serve chilled or over ice. Makes 1 quart.
Variations: Use the rind of 1/2 orange in place of the lemon. Or go nuts and add a few allspice berries or red peppercorns to the bottle. A tablespoon or so of good wild honey (clover, orange flower or acacia) is also delicious.

Strawberry-Hibiscus Granita


  • 1 sprig basil leaves for garnish
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled, quartered, plus 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries for garnish
  • 6 Wild Hibiscus Flowers and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (or more) syrup (nectar)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice
  • Ingredient info:
    Agave syrup is available at natural foods stores and some supermarkets.


Blend quartered strawberries in a blender until finely puréed. Transfer to a large bowl; add Hibiscus Floers and syrup, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season to taste, adding more lime juice and syrup, if desired.
Pour strawberry and Hibiscus mixture into a 13x9x2" metal pan and freeze until top layer begins to harden, about 2 hours. Using a fork, scrape mixture to break frozen portions into tiny pieces. Freeze for 30 minutes; scrape again. Repeat until granita resembles fluffy shaved ice, about 4 hours.

Divide among bowls. Garnish with basil leaves and diced strawberries.

A Floral Appetizer

Strain 1 jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.  Save the Syrup for some of these other fantastic recipes.  Add a dried apricot in the bottom of the hibiscus flower.
Chop some candied ginger
Add some on top.
Not leaving well enough alone, mix equal parts of cream cheese and goat cheese together and toss in some of the sweet and peppery chopped ginger.
A green Pepita on top adds the perfect touch.
Yum...a visual and tasty delight.
As they reach toward the sun, these floral buds can enliven a cheese board, salad or stand on their own as an appetizer as they transition us into the glory of summer. Bon appetit!

Wild Hibiscus Flowers got their start when founder Lee Etherington  “playfully” (read: drunkenly) dunked a wildflower into his flute of champagne and was smitten with the results.  We used prosecco, rather than champagne, but the results were similar.  As the flower rests at the bottom of the glass, the bubbles run across the surface, causing the petals to slowly unfurl.  Although it looked great, we found that using the flowers in this way didn’t really contribute any flavor to the drink, with the exception of eating the prosecco soaked flower itself.  It’s texture was similar to fruit leather; it had a flavor somewhere between raspberry and cranberry, not bad at all.  

With that in mind, we tried a second version, this time adding a splash of the syrup to our drink.  This sweetened up the dry prosecco, and turned it into a proper cocktail, with a sweet yet tart flavor that evoked thoughts of vitamin c.

Wild Hibiscus flowers certainly make for an impressive looking garnish!


Our Wild pink version of the apple-tini - playful & super smooth! Whilst lee would like to take credit for this one it was first mixed by his wife Jocelyn using some left over apple puree commissioned from 6 month old daughter Lily... Subsequent testing with normal apple puree proved that baby food gives a much smoother result on the palate for this cocktail.
2 oz vodka
3 oz apple puree (baby food is smoothest!)
1 oz wild hibiscus flower syrup
Wild Hibiscus Flower, cherry & chopstick for garnish

Stuff Wild Hibiscus Flower with cherry, skewer from side with chopstick for garnish
Shake together ingredients on ice
Strain into glass
Lay chopstick over the glass

The Forbidden fruit... the Wild Flower...
(& the skewered cherry! LOL) from the Garden of Eden - Enjoy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

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copake connection
September 2013
Enjoy Copake! 

Copake Connection is an online newsletter brought to you by members of  the Copake Hamlet Revitalization Taskforce with the generous assistance of Copake resident Karen DiPeri.  This Newsletter will publicize community events throughout the Town of Copake and will be published once a month, on the 15th of the month.  The newsletter will be distributed to anyone who wishes to subscribe.  Simply click the mailing list icon below.  
If you wish to submit an article or notice regarding a community event taking place in the Town of Copake to the Copake Connection, please e-mail: thecopakeconnection@gmail.com.   All submissions should be received by us by noon on the 11th of the month.
In This Issue
1st Annual Roe Jan Ramble
Copake Website
Veterans Memorial
100th Birthday Celebration
Leaf Peeper Concert
Upcoming Events
First Annual Roe Jan Ramble 
Bike Ride  
By: Jon Strom
On Sunday, September 22nd, the first annual Roe Jan Ramble Bike Ride will kick off, sponsored by the Town of Copake. The ride, open to cyclists of all ages and abilities, will start at the municipal parking lot between First Niagara Bank and Peck & Peck Insurance, in the heart of the hamlet of Copake. Registration will begin at noon and the first group of riders will depart at 1 PM. There will be rides of 2 miles, 10 miles and 25 miles.

To register online, or to print out a registration form, go to www.townofcopake.org. Riders less than 18 years of age will need to print out the form, have it signed by a parent, and mailed to or dropped off at Copake Town Hall. All riders who register before September 8th will receive a free t-shirt, while those that register after that time will get shirts on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.

The idea behind the ride, conceived by the Copake Hamlet Revitalization Task Force, is to further promote bicycle use and tourism in Copake. There will be refreshments after the race.

For further information contact Jeanne Mettler at jeannemettler@gmail.com or Jon Strom at jstrom@taconic.net  

All registered riders will receive an email with confirmation details a few days prior to the event.  
The Bike Routes
 Click on the ride below to view the route:

All routes will be clearly marked on pavement.
Wrist Band Bonus!
 When you ride the in the Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour,  show your wrist band in local businesses to get bonuses!  Free stuff!  Discounts!  
Details at the Ride!
The (Continuing) Saga of the Copake Website   
At a special meeting of the Town Board on June 19, 2013, the Town selected Laurie Quinn, of Technology 4 All, Inc., to redesign the Town's website. The Board appointed an ad hoc committee to assist Ms. Quinn, consisting of Board members Susan Winchell-Sweeney and Jeanne Mettler, and Copake residents Noah Elkin and Karen DiPeri. At the time it was hoped that the new website would be up by early fall. 
Subsequently, the Town ran into some snags, as a Malware virus made the town's website inaccessible. But the good news is that the Town has moved forward by obtaining an entirely new domain name: TownofCopake.org. A temporary site at that address will give the public access to public notices, minutes and announcements while the Committee continues to make progress on the permanent website. As Ms. Quinn explained, "This will allow us to build a new, clean database while having necessary information to the public."  
The Veteran's Monument Project
At the September Town Board meeting, Supervisor Jeff Nayer announced that $3500 has been raised for the Veteran's Monuments Project. The goal is to raise $5000 to pay for adding names of veterans to Copake's Korean War monument and Vietnam monument.
Efforts continue to find any veteran whose name has been inadvertently omitted from either the Vietnam or Korean monument. Any veteran who feels his or her name should be on the monument should contact the Town Clerk at 329-1234 Ext. 2.   
There will be a pancake breakfast on Sunday, October 13, 2013 to raise more funds. Anyone wishing to contribute to this project or who wants further details should contact Supervisor Nayer at 329-1234 Ext. 1.  
Roe Jan Library Invites the Community to a 100th Birthday Party
The Roeliff Jansen Community Library, founded in 1913, will be celebrating its 100th birthday on Saturday September 21st with a big, free birthday party celebration for the community starting at 12:30 at the Library.
Under the tent at 2 pm will be the return of the very popular Birds of Prey. Bill Robinson, who teaches field biology, ornithology, and animal life at SUNY New Paltz, returns to the Library with his wildlife presentation that includes a hawk, owl, vulture, falcon and snakes.
Outside will be the 1st Responder Truck Expo with an Ancram Fire Truck, a Columbia County Sherriff's car and a Copake Highway Truck for kids (little and big) to check out. The Sheriff's Department will be making kid's ID cards with fingerprints and promoting the Yellow Dot program, a way to ensure that first responders have your medical information
Whoopsy Daisy the Clown will entertain the kids with goofy antics, face painting and balloon toys. Kids can also try their hand at Spin Art and, thanks to the Hillsdale Supermarket, cookie decorating. Everyone can enjoy free hot dogs, popcorn and cold drinks thanks to Herrington Fuels and First Niagara Bank. With a nod to autumn there will be fresh pressed cider for all. At 3:15 a round of "Happy Birthday" and free cupcakes will commemorate 100 years of service to the community.
The Whitehouse Staff Band will provide the music for the party from 12:30 to 2:00, on the stage playing Rock 'n Roll dance music.
Local community groups will be on hand with information about their organizations, including the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, the Copake Hamlet Revitalization Task Force and the Leaf Peepers.
Inside the Library, party-goers will find how to download eBooks to a Nook or Kindle, get tours of the library and learn about all the resources available. There will be Green Tours at 1:00 and 3:00 to learn about the green features of the library, including a tour of the geothermal heating and cooling equipment. 100th Birthday Commemorative Mugs made by Berkshire Pottery will be for sale.
Essential Moments, B. Docktor's photo exhibit which includes some of her photos of the Library community will be on view as well as the newly restored painting "View of Hillsdale", a Hudson River School painting from the 1860's that is part of the library's collection.
The Friends of the Roe Jan Library Bookstore will be open in the lower level of the library. Everyone who visits the store during the party can get one $2 book for free.
From 3 to 5pm the Salisbury Band Senior Quickstep Hotshots will be on the stage to play old time jazz tunes, American songbook popular songs, and brass band favorites. They are part of a band that has been performing for eight decades.
At 4pm there will be a champagne reception for everyone who has ever volunteered for the library. The reception will honor those who have helped patrons check out items, shelved books, been a member of the Friends, served on the program committee, helped with a fundraising event, raised money for the Capital Campaign, organized a book sale, baked cookies, produced an art show, pulled weeds, built a bookcase, washed a window or volunteered for any other library project. The Board of Trustees are recognizing the volunteers as a key reason the library is a strong and vibrant community resource as it starts its second century.
The Roeliff Jansen Community Library,is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale.
Upcoming Events
Leaf Peeper 2013 Concert Series
September 21, 2013 Hillsdale Grange
Presenting Half the Catalyst String Quartet

Sanford Allen, Music Director of CCCC will talk on (and not on) the language of music
(my own peculiar relationship therewith). Music will include Beethoven's Eyeglass Duo for Viola and Cello and Serenade, Op.8, for String Trio; Ron Carter's 2+1=4 , a Leaf Peeper commissioned piece; and closing with Robert Fuch's String Trio. Sanford Allen, violin; Dov Scheindlin, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello will perform these pieces.

October 5, 2012 Copake Methodist Church

Works by Johann Sebastian Bach will include Partita No. 6 for violin; Three Arias from the Cantatas 58, 80 and 36 adapted for Instruments; Sonata for Oboe and Harpsichord;
Partita No. 1 for Harpsichord; and Trio Sonata No. 5 for Oboe, Violin and Continuo.
Sanford Allen, violin; Virginia Brewer, oboe; and Edward Brewer, harpsichord will initiate this remembrance of Leaf Peeper's founder, Newell Jenkins.

October 19, 2013 St. James Church, Chatham
String Music from Three Centuries

All concerts are at 7:30 pm.  Tickets for Leaf Peeper Concerts are $20 per performance or $70 for a series pass. Students and children get in free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at www.leafpeeperconcerts.org. They may also be reserved by emailing LeafPeepers@fairpoint.net or calling 518-329-5613.

The performances are made possible (in part) with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the NYS Council of the Arts, administered through the Community Grants Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts, and in part with funds from the Alexander and Marjorie Hover Foundation, Inc. 
Roeliff Jansen Historical Society Summer Exhibit
"Recreation in the Roe Jan Area"

The summer exhibit will celebrate the Roe Jan area's historic contribution as a recreational wonderland, past and present, and in all four seasons.  From Hudson River School painter John Frederick's Kennset's pre-Civil War discovery of  Bash Bish Falls through the rise of popular village inns and camps that catered to guests escaping the summer heat in the city through the establishment of the Taconic State Park in the 1920s through the present day, the exhibit will showcase photographs and artifacts of camping, fishing, skiing, hiking, baseball and golf.  The exhibit opens July 6th and runs through Columbus Day weekend. The museum will be open Saturdays and Sundays, from 2:00-4:00pm. www.roeliffjansenhs.org
Now entering its third year, Farming Our Future has established itself as an important conference for the Northeast Region, attracting farmers, businesses, community leaders and engaged citizens in the topic of farming.

The 2014 conference will focus on strategies and ideas for ensuring farms will continue to be in our region for many years to come. Speakers and workshops will cover topics related to accessing locally produced food, attracting and getting youth interested in farming as an occupation, thoughts on farm transfer and tools to train beginning farmers.

Sponsored by The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Valley Energy, and Farm Credit East (as of 9/15).  
Proceeds from the conference, expected to draw over 300 attendees, will go toward Taconic Hills' award-winning H.A.R.V.E.S.T. Club (Healthy Agricultural Resources by Volunteers & Educators in Science & Technology), a program that engages youth in the process of growing healthy fruits, flowers and vegetables in a school-based garden, and to the school's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).  
We hope you will join us Saturday, February 22nd 2014 at Taconic Hills Central School District for a thoughtful discussion of where our food will come from in the future.

Exhibitors can register now online!  
For more information please visit our website: www.farmingourfuture.org 
Thank you for subscribing to the Copake Connection.  Please share with your neighbors and friends.  
The Copake Connection is not an online newspaper;  therefore we do not publish editorials or letters to the editor.
Thank you

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Please join us for the  Hillsdale Arts Festival:  

Saturday,  September 21, 2013

10am - 4 pm 
Sunday, September 22, 2013
11 am - 4 pm

Hillsdale, NY is quickly developing its rightful reputation as a burgeoning arts community. With recent national exposure in 'Martha Stewart Living' magazine and the amazing draw of both artists and art-lovers to the Hillsdale area and surrounds, the time has come to gather together and celebrate the arts in this beautiful upstate community. 

The CCCA, along with the Hillsdale Hamlet committee, invite you to join us for this two-day arts festival taking place this September, during the height of fall foliage season. The festival kicks off CCCA's 19th Annual ArtsWalk, a (now) three-week celebration of the arts in Columbia County. We invite you to stroll through the village and Hamlet Park and see the work of over 30 talented artists in a variety of mediums: fine art, photography, sculpture, jewelry, fine crafts and more! There will be  musicians and performers on both days with food and fun for everyone! 

'The Most Lovely Town in the Hudson Valley'

Hillsdale, long famous for its bucolic vistas and charming hamlet, provides the ultimate Columbia County experience. Also known as the 'Gateway to the Berkshires', this unique town is perfectly situated at the crossroads of Routes 22 and 23. The Hamlet of Hillsdale was recently designated a National Historic District, while farmers in the surrounding hills continue a centuries-old tradition of producing delicious organic foods. 

Long-established businesses are being joined by an exciting entrepreneurial spirit, making Hillsdale one of the most attractive destinations in the Hudson Valley!

Join us in the Hamlet of Hillsdale on Saturday, September 21st, 10am-4pm and Sunday, September 22nd, 11am-4pm as we celebrate the rich artistic talent located in Hillsdale and surrounds! It will be a feast for the eyes and a wonder to the senses! 


2633 Route 23, Hillsdale, New York 12529    (518) 325-4882 
Saturday, 9/21  10am-4pm  and Sunday, 9/22, 11am-4pm

The Work of:
Linda B. Horn (www.lindabhorn.com)
Suzi Matthews (www.suzimatthews.com)
Janet Cooper (www.janetcooperdesigns.com)
Bart Gulley (www.bartgulley.com)
Arthur Baker http://carriehaddadgallery.com/index.cfm?method=Photography.ArtistDetail&ArtistID=CA590354-115B-5562-AA4A6D8AF2B659DE)


Be sure to stop by the HILLSDALE FARMER'S MARKET while you're in town!

When and Where  
Every Saturday starting June 1 till October 12.
9am to 1pm.

Located at Roe Jan Park, 9140 Route 22, just a minute south of the light on Route 23.

The photography of B. Docktor will be featured at the Roe Jan Library September 4-October 6, 2013 in a show titled Essential Moments. The opening reception is Friday September 6 from 5:30-7:30. The exhibit is a celebration of the library's 100th birthday, our gorgeous area and our wonderful community. It will include Docktor's Community Portrait of the People of Roe Jan Library. 
Ancram resident B. Docktor photographs everything from families to animals, landscapes and nature, to weddings, performances and events. To help the Roe Jan Library celebrate its 100th anniversary, Docktor donated many hours to making a community portrait of the people who make up the library community. She photographed staff, reading groups, performances, workshops, donors, artists, writers, individuals using the library, and many groups who volunteer in various ways to serve the library.  She says, “I wanted to create a portrait of this very giving, diverse, and extremely talented community who use and serve the library.” 
“For the library exhibit, I am putting up photographs that feature the beauty of our area, as well as selections from the RJCL Community Portrait. I love where I live, and I so enjoy making images that show off our landscape, nature and animals. We’ll also have a slideshow of the RJCL Community Portrait playing during the opening reception which I hope will foster conversation and connection between people who may recognize each other, but don’t really know each other,” said Docktor.
The Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Rt. 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the intersection of Routes 22 and 23 in Hillsdale. For information on hours and events, call 518-325-4101, or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org.

Celebrate the 100th Birthday of the Roeliff Jansen Community Library on 9/21 as well!

Birthday Fair on Saturday, Sept. 21, including the popular Birds of Prey, kids’ activities, 1st Responder Big Truck Expo, music, Friends Book Sale, library tours and demos, birthday cupcakes, pictures in the big green chair, and more!