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 ownvegetables, herbs, and livestock. Their approach to food exhibits the sameprinciples that define their furniture--quality ingredients, simplepreparation.

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.