Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Shaker Village – Experience the Simple Pleasures

Originally uploaded by janet.powell

There are many ways to experience pleasure but what they all have in common is the need to slow down to savor the moment. Recently, we went to Shaker Village In Pleasant Hill, Kentucky to do just that.

Shaker Village is a living history museum of 3,000 acres of preserved farmland with 34 restored buildings. Many of the buildings have been converted to private guest rooms with private baths — all decorated in authentic shaker style with reproduction shaker furniture. No, they don’t have rope beds any more. I was surprised to find that we had a Posturpedic foam mattress — something I have been wanting to experience.

It has been 27 years since we first visited here. Not much has changed since then. That’s why we keep going back. It is such a lovely experience. We really enjoy walking through the village on the gravel path, hearing the crunch of the rocks beneath our feet, to get to the dining hall, knowing what will be awaiting us for dinner.

They serve authentic Shaker meals that include only meats that might have been served back then: salty (very) country ham, trout, catfish, pork, and others plus all the trimmings — way too much food but if they left anything out, I’d be disappointed.

Greeting us at our table was a wooden relish tray with baby corn, picked okra (does not have the slimy liquid that occurs when you cook it), celery, and the like.

For an appetizer, I had their tomato celery soup. Yummy.

Their sides included fried corn, spiced peaches, and a casserole that had an imported vegetable that I had never heard of that was from the carrot family, prepared in a way that reminded me of macaroni and cheese.

During the meal, they served pickled watermelon rind (I love this!) and pickled beats.  Why don’t today’s restaurants do this anymore?

We actually did not have dessert because we were so full. But the dessert they are famous for is a lemon pie made with real lemon rind. It is quite unusual. You either love it or hate it; and I love it.

Here is the recipe:

Shaker Lemon Pie

  • 2 large lemons
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 c. sugar

Slice lemons as thin as paper, rind and all. Combine with sugar; mix well. Let stand 2 hours, or preferabley overnight, blending occasionally. Add beaten eggs to lemon mixture; mix well. Turn into nine inch pie shell, arranging lemon slices evenly. Cover with top crust. Cut several slits near center. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes or until silver knife inserted near edge of pie comes out clean. Cool before serving.

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