(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Hearty chicken pot pie, dilly beans with watercress salad, and Sister Mary’s favorite bread pudding are just a few of the offerings at Hancock Shaker Village’s Shaker Suppers, on October 22 and 29 at 4 pm and November 5 and 26 at 4 pm. Designed for fall family gatherings, the Suppers include live music, costumed interpreters, a guided tour, and plenty of candle-lit ambiance, all giving diners a taste of Shaker traditions during the fall season.
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 much of the National Historic Landmark’s premier collection of Shaker furniture and artifacts.
The evening begins with a private tour, 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 (beer and wine available for purchase), and moves into the Believers’ Dining Room, where courses are served by candlelight.
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, Mass. A variety of soups, entrees, accompaniments, and desserts are served buffet style to offer a wide variety of Shaker flavors.
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.
A 20-minute program of a cappella Shaker music follows the meal.
The Shaker Suppers cost $70 per person or $65 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 Shaker Suppers or call 413.443.0188 x203.
Typical Bill of Fare:
Vermont Cheddar Cheese, Crackers, and Orchard Apple Cider
Cranberry Pot Roast
Chicken Pot Pie
Green and Red Cabbage
Dilly Beans with Watercress Salad
Sister Mary’s Favorite Bread Pudding with Lightly Whipped Cream
Situated on a picturesque expanse of farm, field, and woodland in Pittsfield, Mass., Hancock Shaker Village is an outdoor living history museum and center for the study of principled living in the 21st century. The fully restored Village includes 18 historic buildings, heirloom medicinal and vegetable gardens, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools, and clothes that depict daily life at the Shakers’ City of Peace through its 220 years, as well as heritage breed farm animals and spectacular hiking trails. There are daily tours, craft and cooking demonstrations, lectures and workshops, and a variety of activities for children and families, as well as a Museum Store and Shaker-inspired cuisine at the Village Harvest Café. The Discovery Room offers hands-on opportunities for kids of all ages to try their hand at chair seat weaving, working at a loom, trying on Shaker-style clothing, or milking a life-sized replica of a cow. An interactive audio tour (free with admission) is available in English, French, Italian, and German.
Hancock Shaker Village is located on Route 20 in Pittsfield, Mass., just west of the junction of Routes 20 and 41. For GPS purposes, the Village is located at 34 Lebanon Mountain Rd., Hancock, Mass. 01237. Or, enter 1843 W. Housatonic St., Pittsfield, Mass. 01201 then proceed 1/2 mile further west on Rt. 20 to the parking lot.