By Kim Cross
October 08, 2008

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.