Shaker Inspiration

October 8, 2008 | By | Comments (3)


To accompany our "In the Shaker Kitchen" feature in this month’s issue, Executive Editor Billy Sims recorded an interview about the fascinating story of the Shakers, a unique American religious community.

Known for their elegantly simple, yet expertly crafted furniture (and often confused with the Quakers), the Shakers were actually quite innovative, earning a number of patents for inventions that included a washing machine.

Living in self-reliant communities, the Shakers grew their own
vegetables, herbs, and livestock. Their approach to food exhibits the same
principles that define their furniture–quality ingredients, simple

The story appealed to Billy, a skilled craftsman who makes Southern Highlands baskets and furniture. As he learned more about the group’s history, a Cooking Light food feature took shape. The photos you see in our slideshow are his scouting shots from the locations where we later conducted the photo shoot. (He even co-developed the recipe for Shaker-style Lemon Pie.) The result–a collection of refreshingly unfussy recipes–in many ways mirrors our culinary philosophy. Listen to Billy tell the story behind the story, and we think you’ll enjoy them even more.


  1. Rachel Neal

    Hello! Due to your article I know whom to thank for the invention of washing machine. Now I know about the existence of such community as Shakers and will find out more about them and their culture. But I already like them for the fact that they preferred simple methods of preparing food, exactly like I do!

    April 5, 2012 at 7:03 am
  2. ald

    I know that Mike already posted a Smashing Magazine link, but that site is just so damn good sometimes.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm
  3. Jimly

    I like it so much..It’s very nice..

    January 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

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