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.
Mount Vernon welcomes visitors to learn more about a fascinating side to culinary life in the 18th century through chocolate-ice cream making demonstrations every Saturday in August. Visitors can watch as costumed staff provides a glimpse into the making of one of George Washington's favorite desserts! Mount Vernon's team will explain the fascinating process and use reproduction period equipment to demonstrate how ice cream was made in the 18th century.
Visitors to Mount Vernon’s ice cream making demonstrations will receive an adapted 18th century recipe for ice cream that they can make at home using plastic bags. For those who don't want to wait to indulge, ice cream is available for sale at Mount Vernon's food court. The ice cream demonstrations are included in regular Estate admission: adults, $15.00; children ages 6-11, $7.00; and children under 5 are admitted free.
Historic Mount Vernon invites visitors to experience a unique side of Civil War history at George Washington’s home through a new walking tour, "Mount Vernon in the Civil War." Explore historic locations and listen to dramatic Civil War stories – from the life-risking efforts of the estate’s earliest caretakers to battlefield cannon fire rumbling the Mansion!
These special tours are limited in capacity and cost $5 in addition to Estate admission: $15 adults; $7 children (6-11); free for children 5 & under.