Spices were an important part of cooking in the days before refrigeration was available in most homes. Meat and fish were smoked, pickled, peppered, salted or treated with combinations of spices that kept the food from rotting.
"Kitsch” is a term that refers to something that’s overly sentimental or vulgar or in just plain poor taste. Paintings on velvet of Elvis Presley, plastic pink flamingos and hula girl statues were all once considered kitsch – and laughable.
Opinions change with time. Throughout the past 40 years, it has become popular to “think green.” But our ancestors had to hunt for food and killed buffalo, deer and passenger pigeons, making some species endangered and others extinct.
Before the 1850s, few chairs were made for comfort. Seventeenth and early 18th-century American chairs were designed with hard seats and straight backs, and few had arms. No slouching allowed. People were expected to sit up straight.
Cats are favored over dogs when it comes to collecting. Those who devote sales to paintings, figurines and other depictions of animals find that sales are better for cats, then dogs, then horses, then chickens and roosters, followed by pigs and maybe frogs.
Daring designers created a new look for dinnerware, furniture and other household furnishings in the late 19th century. It was part of a new philosophy that promoted the power and importance of art and beauty.
Santa Claus hasn’t always been a fat, jolly man with a beard and a red coat. He hasn’t even always lived at the North Pole. The Santa of today often is called the “Coca-Cola Santa” because he was first drawn in the 1930s for a series of Coke ads.
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