If you must know the truth, here it is: I am a passive aggressive, Midwestern-born pushover.
In the familial vein of my Minnesotan ancestors, a stone-faced amalgamation of tough Swedes and Germans, “no” is not a word commonly found in my vocabulary. “Yes.” “Sure.” “I’d be happy to!” “Of course.” “I would love nothing more!” “No problem, even if saying yes will stress me out, cause me to regret this and want to pull every last strand of kinky curly hair off my head.”
Those are words I mutter often.
And that is why I added saying no to my list 2011 goals.
I’ve never ever been good at saying no.
I want to help people.
I like to help people.
I need to help people, because for me, it is selfishly part of my own self-worth.
It’s why I perpetually rewrite every English paper my college-age sister sends me to edit even if it means getting up an hour earlier in the morning. It’s why I commit to weeknight activities with 8 different people when I clearly know there are only 5 weekdays to be filled. And it’s why I tell myself I can balance work, working out, blogging, freelance writing and maintaining my always teetering sanity along with writing guest posts + articles for other bloggers, editing friends’ resumes, saying yes to happy hours and offering to help others in every which way I can.
But eventually, something is going to crack.
And that egg is usually me.
Don’t get me wrong, I am no saint. In fact, in an act of teenage angst-ridden rebellion, I once stole a plastic necklace, key chain AND t-shirt from Disneyland.
I stole from the happiest place on Earth. And lied about it later. This, I am not proud of.
However, I am proud of the fact it happened when I was young and I’ve grown up a lot since then. Despite that, I still have trouble shaking my people-pleasing “YES!” syndrome – just today, my therapist and I had a very long discussion about this all too common phenomenon.
Why we (because I know others out there like me exist) continue to sub-consciously believe in the depths of our complex brains that saying no to others is somehow wrong or mean just plain silly. Really. Because every time I sit down with my most wonderful therapist, she reminds me that saying no to others is actually saying yes to ourselves. Every time she says it, the proverbial light bulb goes off in my Everythingtarian head once again.
Yes, I deserve to go to yoga class and skip happy hour with friends if I want to.
Yes, I deserve a Friday night to do nothing more than watch 5 episodes of Friday Night Lights.
Yes, I deserve an entire day to sleep in, drink coffee and make a tart for the very first time.
And so I did.
This past weekend, I accomplished all those things and refused to feel guilty or selfish for it.
So, I was sore for 3 days following the toughest yoga podcast I’ve ever done.
So, I woke up on Saturday morning realizing I had indeed watched 5 hours of TV when I could have done something useful like doing the dishes, cleaning my apartment or catching up on responding to emails from blog readers.
So, my tart leaked.
It didn’t matter.
My relaxing weekend where I firmly said no to offers to hang out, go out and eat out and instead, said yes to myself (and that most lovely Planned Parenthood ladies brunch) felt really good.
So good in fact, I am deeming this roasted vegetable tart, “The Tart of No.”
Roasted Vegetable Tart (also known as “The Tart of No”)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 onion, sliced
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
2 1/4 cup spelt flour
1 t salt
3 t turbinado sugar
3/4 cup cold butter or Earth Balance spread
1/3 cup ice cold water
1/2 cup skim milk
1 t crushed red pepper
1 t garlic powder
sprinkle of salt + pepper
1 – 2 ounces parmesan cheese*
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
On a baking sheet, coat the tomatoes + onion in olive oil and 1/2 t salt. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes.
While vegetables are roasting, sift together flour, 1 t salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, cut in the butter with your hands until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add your ice cold water, and gently mix until the pie dough comes together. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Take out your dough and roll to 1/4-inch thick to fit your tart or pie pan with an inch or so of overhand. Flute your pie crust (see instructional video here) and fork the bottom of the crust in order to allow air to escape. Parbake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Spread your roasted vegetables evenly over the pie crust. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and seasonings and gently pour over the vegetables. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees until tart is light golden brown. Immediately grate parmesan cheese over the top, slice and serve.
Makes 8 servings
Disclaimer: Say no to anything and everything you want…except this tart recipe.