For the first time, Historic Mount Vernon will give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the Washingtons' kitchen in its latest exhibition.
Hoecakes and Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington pays tribute to Martha Washington's reputation as America's premier entertainer as well as the food grown and served at Mount Vernon during the late 18th century. Hoecakes and Hospitality is an experiential exhibit, where visitors can experience scents including baking bread and brewed coffee as they tour the exhibit, said curator Susan Schoelwer.
"Visitors to Mount Vernon have long enjoyed seeing the Washingtons' dining rooms, kitchen, gardens, orchards, and slave quarters," said Schoelwer in a statement. "Unlike the anonymous pots and pans found in most historic homes, this exhibit offers a rare, intimate look at a specific 18th century kitchen, thanks to the actual pots and pans, kettles, and canisters lovingly preserved by several generations of Martha Washington descendants."
The exhibit features more than 125 objects amassed from Mount Vernon's collections, private lenders, and other institutions. A heart-shaped waffle iron, presidential dinner invitations, and receipts for goods are among the items on display at the estate. Visitors will be able to take home recipe cards featuring updated versions of Washington favors including cherry bounce, Martha Washington's chocolate cake, and, of course, hoecakes.
Hoecakes and Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington opens Saturday, Feb. 18 and runs until August 11, 2013.