On the schedule at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass. are a series of Shaker Suppers to be served on October 9 and 10 at 5:30pm and November 6 and 27 at 4:00pm. The Suppers are served in the Village’s 1830 Brick Dwelling, which was home to 100 Shaker Brethren and Sisters in the late 19th century. Today, it houses the bulk of the National Historic Landmark’s collection of Shaker furniture and objects.
A private tour begins the evening, as guides in Shaker garb lead guests through the Village work areas and living quarters and provide insights into Shaker life. Dinner begins in the Brick Dwelling’s kitchen with cider and cheese, and moves into the Believers’ Dining Room, where courses are served by candlelight, on tables accented with flowers grown at the Village.
The menu varies for each dinner, but always features fresh herbs and vegetables from the Village garden prepared by Chef Michael Roller, formerly of the luxury resort Blantyre in Lenox, MA. A variety of soups, entrees, accompaniments, and desserts are served buffet style to offer a wide variety of Shaker flavors.
Cheddar Cheese, Crackers, and Apple Cider
Eldress Clymena’s Tomato Soup
Village Garden Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
Featuring Seasonal Produce from the Village Gardens
Roasted Loin of Pork with Mushroom Sauce
Chicken Pot Pie
Potato Pie with Buttered Crumb Top
Sweet Garden Peas
Glazed Carrots with Herbs
Apple Cake with Whipped Cream and Cooked Cider
Lemon Water and Coffee
The majority of the items served at Shaker Suppers are included in the cookbook The Best of Shaker Cooking by Amy Bess Miller. A vegetarian entree is available by advance request. Families and friends are seated together at communal tables to enjoy this unique meal. Many have made the Shaker Suppers a fall family tradition.
Following the meal, a 20-minute program of a cappella Shaker music completes the evening.
The Shaker Suppers cost $65 per person or $60 for members of Hancock Shaker Village. This price includes the entire evening’s program: guided tour, reception, dinner, and music program. Reservations are required; for more information, visit www.hancockshakervillage.org or call 413.443.0188 x213.