Hoecakes & Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington
George and Martha Washington welcomed thousands of guests to Mount Vernon in the more than forty years they lived here. How did Martha manage to feed so many in a world without refrigerators, microwaves or running water?
Experience a behind-the-scenes look at the Washingtons’ kitchen through the new exhibition, Hoecakes & Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington. On display inside the Donald W. Reynolds Museum, this temporary exhibition explores how foods were prepared and presented at 18th-century Mount Vernon. Before appearing in dining rooms, crispy hoecakes, smoked hams, frozen ice creams, and other foods required the work of gardeners, housekeepers, enslaved cooks, butlers and waiters – all under Martha Washington’s careful supervision.
Following food from the Estate’s field to kitchen to table, visitors will see recipes and cookbooks that Martha treasured, pots that simmered in her kitchen, and fine tablewares that made Mount Vernon’s dining room fit for a president. For the first time ever, visitors to the Museum will experience scents as they explore the exhibition - smelling cinnamon, coffee, and warm bread. Open through August 11, 2013.
Entrance to the Donald W. Reynolds Museum is included in regular Estate admission.
Join us for a celebration of women’s history! Hear a lecture by Ava Farmer, author of a new book which pays tribute to the irreplaceable work of Jane Austen - one of the most widely read authors in English literature. Farmer's book, Second Impressions, takes place ten years after Austen's beloved Pride and Prejudice, and follows her cast of characters as they negotiate life in late-Regency England. The lecture in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium will be followed by a book signing in The Shops. Guests will then step even further back in time to learn more about the diverse array of women that called Mount Vernon home during an exclusive 45-minute walking tour. This one-time-only tour will traverse the historic area (not including the Mansion) as expert guides profile important women from Washington’s day on.
This event is FREE and open to the public, but space is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve your space, please email Events@mountvernon.org. Books are available for sale in The Shops.
Demonstrations by costumed distillers take visitors through the historic process of whiskey-making in this reconstruction of the largest 18th-century distillery in America. George Washington’s Distillery is adjacent to his reconstructed Gristmill, a water-powered mill where Colonial millers grind corn into meal and wheat into flour just as it was done more than 200 years ago. George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill are located three miles from Mount Vernon.
At the George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site, visitors can tour the re-created 16-sided barn George Washington designed. This four-acre site also features rare-breed farm animals (oxen, mules, roosters, sheep, and chickens) similar to the varieties Washington had at his farms. The cultivated area includes eight fields, and illustrates Washington's advanced farming practices and crop rotation scheme. Included in Estate admission.