Prototype B

Past Exhibit
May 6, 2022 – November 27, 2022

Opening May 6, we’re pleased to present an experimental prototype exhibit, Awaken, exploring the themes of food, cooking, dining, and inheritance.

Henry Mercer was inspired to establish this museum because he wanted to give people tangible reminders of the crafts and customs of preindustrial daily life. He also wanted visitors to remember what has been collectively passed down to them: a shared inheritance of creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and making do. We do something similar when we cook and serve food around a table: we keep traditions alive, update them for changing times, remember people who taught us to cook, follow time-tested recipes, and use heirloom kitchen tools that still work after years of use. We are the heirs to stories, customs, advice, special tastes and evocative smells—things that aren’t tangible unless we make them so.

This exhibit will include two installations inside the museum: one devoted to cooking and recipes on Level 3, the other devoted to dining and unforgettable meals on Level 5. When you visit and explore, we hope that you will share some of your own food-related stories, traditions and memories with us and with each other, adding to our collective understanding of culinary customs as they exist today.

Recipes from our visitors

Visitors are sharing their recipes and stories with us! Explore what has been shared below, and be sure to share your favorite family recipe with us.

Great Grandma's Pickeled Beets & Eggs

Like any good recipe, this one only exists in partial, handwritten form. Most often the paper is not referenced except in those cases where you need a sanity check. Everyone who makes it brings their own style and alterations to it over time. Pickled eggs and beets, made in one dish, was a long standing holiday tradition in our family passed down through multiple generations, likely on this very sheet of paper. Although we make it less often today, when we do on a special occasion it carries a feeling of tradition with it. This recipe will certainly continue its voyage in our family.

Uploaded by Anonymous

Honey Cake

The name just about says it all. A classic "good-anytime" dessert that has been in our family for decades. We don't know who started it, but almost everyone in our family knows the recipe and it's a regular appearance at holiday gatherings. We know it will stay in the family because it's one that everyone calls and asks for the recipe for! Mom will always get the credit in my book, because she made it the best.

Uploaded by Anonymous