I Thought it Was an Avocado: Lessons on the Fullness of Life.

Several years ago, I met up with a childhood friend I hadn’t seen in years. She was in the mood for sushi; I am up for anything I don’t have to cook myself. In short order, I found myself faced with a sampling of dainty and colorful circles known as sushi rolls. Despite the fact…

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Heading for Takeout

There’s a saying in my family: When Janet heads to the kitchen (that’s me), then everyone else heads for takeout. I’m fully convinced I could headline on the “Worst Cooks in America” if I could just survive in the kitchen long enough to submit an audition tape. Some of my culinary mishaps are the stuff…

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Oh Well

It was not a new joke. And it was not funny the first 400 times I heard it. Then one day, years later, the unthinkable happened.

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The Joy of Yoga

I recently started a yoga class that should be described in the brochure as “death by planks.” The instructor initiates each class session with the statement: “My goal is to make you all sore tomorrow. And I love planks.” Followed by a long, cackling laugh. A plank, if you’re not familiar, is essentially the “up”…

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An Epilogue to the Soup Story

Later that night, after the great soup escapade, I was sharing my story with a friend. “You know how my church has these Lenten suppers,” I began. “Uh-huh.” “And each week two people volunteer to bring soup.” “Oh no,” she interjected. “You didn’t volunteer to take soup did you?” (Ah, she knows me so well.)…

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Cooking Tip #6: The Secret Ingredient

I recently discovered a secret ingredient even more important than cheese. I know, I didn’t think this was possible either. But it’s true. And this secret ingredient is so unique, it is added not by the chef during cooking, but by the consumer right before eating. Here is the story of how I discovered it.…

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How I Love Thee, Indoor Treadmill

Top Ten Reasons why running on a treadmill is better than my trainer-friend says: 10) It’s warm.  Actually it’s a little too warm, which can be problematic, but… 9)   I can roll out of bed and onto the treadmill without having to put on 18 layers of moisture-wicking thermal insulation.  This saves both time…

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The Day I Discovered the Treadmill

The day I discovered the treadmill was cold and snowy and – did I mention cold? The story begins something like this: On any given day, I would much rather lament my running incapacity than to do something productive to remedy it.  Every once in a while I do something advisable (recall Exhibit A).  But…

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Cooking Tip #5: How to Crack an Egg

Not so very long ago, a friend lent me a book called Cooking for Geeks.  This book was intended to explain, in precise and empirical language that a scientist like me could appreciate, exactly how to do amazing things in the kitchen.  Like fry an egg without causing an explosion. I’m not sure it achieved…

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Two Shakes and a Whistle

So I was challenged the other day to write blog post with the title “Two Shakes and a Whistle.” My first thought was, “I don’t even know what that means!” It turns out, I’m not alone.  Even Google doesn’t know.  I considered writing a blog post that simply said: “Does anyone know what this means?”…

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Meet Janet!

Janet Beagle, PhD is the founder of The Mustard Patch. She divides her time between the Midwest and New England, and if she’s not writing, she’s probably out hiking with her 2-and 4-footed friends.