Riversdale House Museum invites you to an 1812 Winter Evening this Friday, December 28, from 6-9 pm. Come on by to experience the sights, sounds, and scents of the holidays, 19th century style! Chat with the visiting 1812 troops and listen to the merry sounds of the Ship's Company Chanteymen as you tour the decorated and candlelit home, make a pomander, take a peek in the open hearth kitchen, and check out the holiday shop. Festivities would not be complete without cider and refreshments, including the traditional Martha Washington Great Cake!
A "Great Cake" was a common dessert during Christmas and Twelfth Night celebrations in colonial and Federal America. Recipes for the dense cake vary, but generally include eggs, flour, sugar, butter, dried fruit, spices, and spirits. Upon George Washington's return to Mount Vernon in 1797, Martha Washington ordered a Great Cake be made for Twelfth Night, the traditional end of the holiday season. The recipe (which called for 40 eggs!) was copied by her granddaughter, Martha Parke Custis, to be given to relatives and the original is now held in the collections of Mount Vernon. This historic sweet will be the centerpiece of Riversdale's Winter Evening refreshments and we invite you to come try a piece!
No reservations are necessary and the cost is $5 for adults and FREE for kids 12 & under accompanied by an adult.
If you're feeling inspired, you can check out Mount Vernon's website to see the original Great Cake recipe and a modern transcription!
Please call the office at 301.864.0420 with any questions. We hope to see you soon!