So, in no particular order, here are some interesting facts that I have gleaned from the books sitting atop my nightstand--and scattered across the living-room coffee table.
1. In the China of the late 1800s, one would sit upon a Kiang as one would a sofa in the living area. It also serves as the hostess' master bedroom.
2. We derive our modern-day word "ketchup" (also catsup and catchup) from the Indonesian word, ket-siap or kez-jap. Heinz didn't invent the word.
3. Even when you're lost, you should always find your way back to the place that fed you well.
4. “Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives.”
5. The iconess to whom I refer above is responsible for the notion of furloughs being introduced into long-term mission work, both domestic and international. She herself was not granted such a gem of refreshment until she had served in China for 14 years. Yes, fourteen years. 5110 days. Think hard about that.
6. Apparently, if you don't like someone, you should throw a party for them. It will throw everyone involved off the scent. At least, that is our dear Emma's logic.
7. Sriracha sauce is named for a city in Thailand--Si Racha.
8. "Historical Gastronomist" is an actual occupational title. Essentially, it means that you get to research random culinary trends, get free food at ethnic restaurants, and employ an intern to help you re-create a garlic-centered menu from the 1840s.
9. A song that you can sing from the beginning or the end--and ultimately meet in the middle--is the very best kind of song.
*These lovely little factoids are gleaned from the following books: The New Lottie Moon Story (Elizabeth Allen), Eight Flavors (Sarah Lohman), At The End of the Beginning (Avi), and Emma (Jane Austen).