Shaken or Stirred at Shaker Village

Shelby Jones, Director of Communications

The holiday season is all about gathering together with family and friends, and it usually involves a cocktail or two. We mix up drinks all year at The Trustees’ Table, and in the spring, summer and fall we serve them from our Music Bar on The Trustees’ Lawn during the Music on the Lawn series.

Our Music Bar Bartender Jim Rogan spends time researching and formulating each recipe before serving it up at Shaker Village. We wanted to share Jim’s top-selling cocktails from the Music Bar this year so you can recreate them at home and toast to 2022.

Bartender Jim Rogan mixing up a cocktail on The Trustees’ Lawn.

Best-Selling Music Bar Cocktails

Amaretto Sour

1.5 oz amaretto
.75 oz cask-proof bourbon such as Booker’s or Baker’s
1.0 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup (2:1)
.5 oz egg white, lightly beaten

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake without ice or use an immersion blender to combine and froth. Add ice and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon peel and brandied cherries, if desired.

Recipe by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Portland, Oregon

Billionaire

2.0 oz Wild Turkey 101 bourbon or other high proof bourbon
1.0 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup (1:1)
.5 oz house made Grenadine
Dash of Absinth
Garnish: lemon wheel

Combine ingredients with ice in shaker and shake to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail glass or rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with lemon wheel.

House Made Grenadine
2.5 cups R. W. Knudsen pomegranate juice
1 cup simple syrup
½ cup dark rich brandy

Pour pomegranate juice and simple syrup into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to low and reduce mixture until it becomes syrupy enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Let cool and add the brandy. Pour into a food safe container and store in refrigerator. Will keep for 2 weeks.

Adapted from Speakeasy, Classic Cocktails Reimagined by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric

French Martini

2.0 oz vodka
1.5 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz Chambord
Garnish: lemon peel

Combine ingredients with ice in shaker and shake to chill. Strain into chilled, stemmed cocktail glass or into rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with lemon peel.

Marty Manhattan

2.0 oz Woodford Reserve bourbon
1.0 oz sweet vermouth
Dash of Regans’ No. 6 orange bitters
Garnish: orange peel

Stir ingredients with ice in mixing glass to chill. Strain into stemmed cocktail glass or into rock glass with fresh ice. Express orange peel over glass and drop in glass.

Jim’s Bartender Note: My wife Marty usually works weekends greeting guests as they arrive at the entrance to Shaker Village. One weekend in June three ladies came up to the Music Bar after talking to Marty and told me they wanted a Manhattan just like the Manhattan I make for her at our evening cocktail hour. I was a bit puzzled and finally one of the ladies said, “You know, the Marty Manhattan.” That’s the story behind the name.

If you’d like to learn more about making cocktails and the history behind their origin check out our Cocktail Craftsmanship & Sipinar class lead by Jim on January 22nd at Shaker Village.

SHAKER VILLAGE CELEBRATES 2021 AND LOOKS FORWARD TO THE FUTURE

Barry Stumbo, Chief Development Officer
Me
lissa Williams, Development Coordinator

It’s a festive time of year at Shaker Village!  Most of the guests visiting are settled in at The Trustees’ Table for a hearty meal or snuggled down in one of our 72 hotel rooms. The coziness of the Village and the prospect of the New Year before us is filled with anticipation and promise. This is a great time for reflection and for counting blessings in 2021.

As we do each year in December, we’d like to share several highlights and achievements. We know thousands of you visited this year and saw first hand how the Village sparkled like never before.

Over 20,000 hikers and horseback riders explored The Preserve.

Our multi-use trail system is open (nearly) year-round. It’s a popular destination for our guests, especially when the wildflowers are in bloom. Our two-person Preserve team works hard to manage the natural habitat and we have a growing number of volunteers who assist with invasive species mitigation and trail maintenance. This spring we completed a major upgrade and repair to the most popular section of the trail system near the Fulling Mill. This repair stabilized the trail, the creek, and the slope of the surrounding spring to ensure this historic feature remains for generations to discover.

Upgrades to the Shawnee Run Trail at the Fulling Mill waterfall.

The Trustees’ Office and Old Ministry’s Shop were the beneficiaries of new roofs!

In November the 1839 Trustees’ Office got a new roof. There were enough materials left over to also replace the roof on the 1813 Old Ministry’s Shop. Not only do they look beautiful, the new roofs will help to secure the building envelop for 25-30 years. That’s cause to celebrate. As we wrote in May, water is the biggest threat to the long-term sustainability of the remaining Shaker Buildings. Every time we replace a roof, we are deflecting water and preventing it from damaging the historic structures.

The Trustees’ Office received a new roof.

They Shaker Village craftsmen also worked to complete over $1 million worth of preservation work in 2021:

  • The preservation carpenter gave the 1847 Cooper’s Shop a lot of attention as he repaired the building’s framework and siding. 
  • Loose mortar within the stone and brick masonry of the 1817 East Family Dwelling was replaced. Windows, sashes, and porches at East Family Dwelling were also repaired.
  • Across the Village, the paint crew cared for building interiors and painted walls, ceilings, doors and windows as needed.

The Farm thrived and got a little bigger!

The Farm team manages 118 organic acres and partners with our Program team to support educational programming.  In addition, they care for over 125 animals! This year The Farm expanded with the addition of a 30’ x 60’ high tunnel (funded in part by the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels). This high tunnel houses 12 new planting beds and will allow the Farm Team to grow vegetables during the winter months.  This food source is not only important to our onsite restaurant, but we also sell produce through our low-cost CSA program and donate local food banks.  Thousands of people benefit through the efforts of the Farm team.

The frame of the new high tunnel.

Signature Events Returned in 2021 and so did you!

When we opened ticketing for Family Farm Days and Brunch with the Babies, we suspected there would be a demand for event programming, however in the continuing pandemic, we were not sure what to expect. Your response was incredible!

Our signature events were high on your to-do list this year! Every event in 2021 (including Vintage Baseball, Craft Fair, Community Sing, the Kentucky Heritage Jazz Fest, Harvest Fest, Trick or Treat and Illuminated Evenings) was well attended.  In many cases, including the Craft Fair and Harvest Fest, the attendance for each was the highest in our history! 

Harvest Fest was a hit this year with record attendance.

You also attended our daily tours and programs and our specialty workshops.  You stayed overnight at The Inn, you dined (often!) at the Trustees’ Table and filled the house for the Fresh Food Adventures.  We are ending 2021 feeling overwhelmed by your enthusiasm for this place and for the work we do.

Celebrating 60 years as a nonprofit organization.

As the year comes to an end, we close our 60th year as a nonprofit organization. We cannot help but feel inspired and encouraged by 2021, though it was challenging at times. The Village at Pleasant Hill remains stronger than any time in our history. The buildings and grounds look spectacular. A new, permanent exhibit – the first in a series – is slated to open in March 2022. We have a great number of programs planned for the upcoming year – even new ones like Watercolor for Beginners.

But most of all, you’ve supported us through two tough and unprecedented years. You’ve kept coming back to the Village. You’ve shopped, dined, hiked, stayed and donated. Your passion for Pleasant Hill and the Kentucky Shakers is driving us forward for the future.

Last year we wrote: “we promise you that we remain committed to caring for this site, to serving our mission, and to providing you with a peaceful place to rest, relax and discover.” The promise rings true as we enter 2022. We look forward to seeing you at Kentucky’s largest National Historic Landmark in the New Year and are grateful for your trust and support!

Extending Gratitude in a Challenging Year

Melissa Williams, Development Coordinator

“When we sow words and deeds of kindness, we will rejoice in the time of harvest. – Brother Larz Erickson, Pleasant Hill

The season of thanksgiving is upon us and here at Shaker Village it is the best time of the year. I say that in all seriousness, but it’s hard to dispute that any time is the best time of year at Pleasant Hill.

There is something about the falling leaves, the preparations for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Trustees’ Table and the addition of holiday decorations going up across the Village that makes this place extra special. A stroll down the turnpike on a crisp November day will inspire you and fill you with good cheer.

Guests came out to the Village to enjoy the outdoors, special events and being together again.

WE MAKE YOU KINDLY WELCOME

If you visited this year, you might have noticed something about Shaker Village: we’ve been extremely busy! The Inn has been booked with happy families and individuals seeking a peaceful getaway. Reservations are almost always needed to dine at The Trustees’ Table. Programming has been well attended by visitors young and old. Hikers and horseback riders have been out on the trails every day.

To put it simply Shaker Village has been flourishing. The grounds look better than ever. Historic preservation work continues through the Village. A new exhibit is opening next month. The farm family is growing. The trails have received restorative work. And more!

Every event we hosted in 2021 (to date) was a success, with guests declaring that it was “the best event ever” and their intention to make it an annual tradition. It’s truly been exhilarating.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

There have undoubtedly been challenges this year. The biggest of these has been trying to keep our staff and visitors safe while providing a robust guest experience.

We chose early on to move forward in planning for our signature events with modifications for COVID protocols. Our first signature event, Brunch with the Babies, was expanded to include Family Farm Days throughout the month of April. This format provided a more flexible and socially distanced guest experience for a wider audience. It was such a hit that Family Farm Days will be back in 2022. The same is true for other events and programming that we introduced or modified this year.

Brunch with the Babies and Family Farm Days proved to be a big hit and will return in 2022!

Like other businesses we have experienced staffing issues for a variety of reasons. Behind the scenes our staff has pulled together to wear many hats so that the guest experience meets your expectations. We sincerely appreciate the grace you’ve shown us when these challenges have been apparent.

Supply issues have also kept us on our toes. This month The Trustees’ Office is getting some tender love and care as the old cedar shake roof is removed and new shingles are installed. We’ve been waiting on the shakes since February and the price of materials increased by $50,000 during the delay. With overnight rooms, the restaurant and a craft store housed in The Trustees’ Office, it is the most visited building by our guests and is a critical revenue center for our operation. We could not delay the project further in hopes of prices coming down without risking more substantial water damage to the building.

The Trustees’ Office receives a much needed new roof.

A SINCERE THANK YOU

We know that this year hasn’t been easy for you either. We have all experienced stress in our personal lives for many reasons. And yet, you’ve supported us.

You’ve visited the Village to hike the trails and explore the Historic Center. You’ve participated in programming, gone on guided tours and been here for all of our signature events.

You’ve stayed overnight at The Inn, more so than ever before, and you’ve dined at The Trustees’ Table.

And when we have asked, you have donated to our nonprofit mission.

Because of you and your support, Shaker Village has been able to continue the important work we do here to carry forward the legacy of the Pleasant Hill Shakers.

Saying “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough to express just how much we appreciate you as a guest and a friend. Without you, your interest and your support, Shaker Village would not exist as it does.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine a world without this 3,000-acre site.

So, we will say thank you and hope that you know we mean it. Sincerely.

Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks

Shelby Jones, Director of Communications

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and The Trustees’ Table is ready to dish out all of the traditional holiday foods you wait for every year. We can’t wait to welcome guests to our Thanksgiving table, but we know that many of you won’t be able to sit down with us so we wanted to help ensure that your table is just as festive as ours.

The Trustees’ Table is set for guests all year long including Thanksgiving.

Top Tips for a Tasty Thanksgiving
Shaker Village Chef Amber Hokams is sharing some tips to make your at home menu prep a little easier.

  • Brine Your Bird – Allowing your turkey to soak for at least 24 hours in a brine (¼ cup of salt per gallon of water) will significantly increase the flavor and texture of your turkey. Don’t forget to add aromatics to your brine. Chef Hokams suggests sliced oranges, bay leaves, fresh thyme, rosemary and peppercorns. All of these flavors will infuse into your turkey making it especially delicious.
  • Cross Utilize Ingredients – Cut your shopping list in half! If you’re making cranberry relish add extra fresh poached cranberries to your dinner salad. If corn pudding is taking center stage on your table add any leftover corn to your cornbread for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  • Homemade Stock Makes a Difference – Save your chicken bones, or ask your local butcher if they have any for sale. Roast your bones for a rich caramelized flavor by adding celery, carrot, onion, a few bay leaves and peppercorns in a large pot. Cover everything with water and allow to reduce over low heat for at least eight hours. Strain the ingredients and continue to reduce until a deep flavorful stock has been achieved. Use this as a base for your gravy along with the pan drippings from your roasting tray. If you really want to show off, add a healthy portion of reduced apple cider to your gravy for extra dimension.
  • Buy Local – Small businesses need our support more than ever. Pick up local baked breads and desserts from your favorite bakery, and encourage your family and friends to do the same.
Chef Amber Hokams trained at Le Cordon Bleu of Austin and has lead the culinary team at The Trustees’ Table since 2018.

A Recipe to Share
We couldn’t offer up all of that advice without passing on a recipe for the star of the meal – dressing (it’s dressing not stuffing). Check out Chef Hokams recipe for Sausage and Mushroom Dressing and add it to this year’s feast.

Sausage and Mushroom Dressing
6 c Ciabatta Bread, Cubed

6 c Cornbread, Cubed

4 c Wild Mushrooms, Roasted

2 T Butter

2 T Kosher Salt

1 lb. Italian Sausage

1 c Diced Red Onion

1 c Celery, Diced

3 T Garlic, Minced

6 Granny Smith Apples, Diced

¼ c Maple Syrup

4 c Homemade Chicken Stock

3 T Fresh Thyme, Chopped

1 T Rosemary Chopped

2 T Fresh Sage, Chopped

½ t Cayenne Pepper

2 T Orange Zest

Add Ciabatta and Cornbread to 300 Degree Oven and Dry Toast for 25-30 minutes.

Add Sausage to Pan and Brown.

Remove Sausage from Pan (leave the fat) and add Butter.

Add Red Onions, Celery, Fresh Herbs and Cayenne.

Allow to caramelize over medium high heat.

Once caramelized add garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly.

Once cool enough to handle add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

You may need to add more liquid depending on the consistency you like.

Place in a 375-degree oven for 25-25 minutes.

Thanksgiving To Go
While reservations for dine-in Thanksgiving meals are all booked up you can still enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving To Go from our restaurant. Thanksgiving To Go carryout orders can be booked through Thursday, November 18. Let us do all the work this year while you and your family relax and enjoy delicious turkey, cornbread dressing and vegetables along with country ham and homemade bread and desserts.

Celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month

Melissa Williams, Development Coordinator

Imagine yourself standing on the turnpike here at Shaker Village. Close your eyes for a moment.

Can you feel the soft, rustling breeze through the trees? The sun shining warm on your face? Each step you take is accompanied by the crunch of gravel on the path. In the distance the ducks are quacking, the donkey brays. There’s a group of people up ahead on a tour listening intently to the guide. They are nodding and smiling.

How do you feel in the moment?

This Place Matters

When our nonprofit organization formed in the 1960s, the original board members and the public worked tirelessly to restore the Village. It was a not an easy undertaking. They persevered because they felt the same way you feel when you visit Pleasant Hill: this place is special.

How is it special? It’s hard to articulate an answer to that question.

It’s educational.  It’s entertainment. It’s fun. It’s an escape.

It’s a sense of peace. A feeling of lightness. A connection to nature and to beauty.

It’s hope in the midst of a chaotic world.

Finding Relevance Today

The 1820 Meeting House.

The Shakers built their environment to reflect their view of Heaven on Earth. Interestingly, their view of Heaven on Earth was adapted over time – both proactively and reactively. One notable example was the shift in how the Village was oriented. The community was initially laid out north to south.  Within the first 20 years of establishing the Village, the orientation shifted to run east to west as the turnpike remains today. While there were likely multiple factors in this decision, the New Madrid earthquake in 1811 damaged the original meeting house. The need to construct a new Meeting House may have been the impetus for this change.

It’s lessons like this that the Pleasant Hill Shakers left us to examine. Their ability to adapt over time and their resilience is an important example that we can find relevance in as we navigate our changing world.

Celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month

Today more than ever, we all need someplace where we can take refuge. A place where we can rest. Where we can reflect. Where we can consider steps we can each individually take to help adapt our communities to be more inclusive, equitable, cohesive and proactive.

This year we join the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Arts and Humanities Awareness Month.

“Three and a half decades after its official recognition, National Arts and Humanities Month takes on new relevance to American life today. Music inspires and uplifts us, poems and stories spark our imagination, and museums teach us about the world and ourselves. The arts and humanities have the power to unite us, to heal us, to sustain us, to help us better understand each other, and to guide us through challenging times.” – joint statement by IMLS, NEA and NEH.

Shaker Village is a place where everyday we think about the human experience and study history, philosophy, religion, community development and more. Sixty years ago, the leaders of our nonprofit could not have guessed just how important Shaker Village would be today, but today it’s certain that Pleasant Hill will remain special for generations to come.