Morning or Afternoon Tea, Savoury, Super Easy

Can’t, Almost, Can / Dip Trilogy {gluten free & vegan}

I wrote this post two weeks ago and slated it into tonight’s post. I then received a Versatile Bloggers Award and posted about that yesterday. Rereading this post (20 minutes before I need to publish), I realise that it sounds like a continuation of the award post. It’s not. And I feel fragile enough about that to try and justify that to all of you in this additional paragraph. Which I fully recognise as slotting neatly into “not important“, but it’s clearly not stopped me… So here we go:

I can’t draw. I mean I really can’t draw. I joke to people that I can barely hold a pencil, but it’s nearly true. I thought for a long time this meant that I wasn’t allowed to be artistic in any capacity. I’m currently thoroughly enjoying proving myself wrong.

I can’t let my son cry at night. I know it’s a thing to let your child ‘cry it out’ and they sleep better. My child is a bad sleeper and I partly blame myself for aching so intently when he weeps that I can’t let it continue for as long as it needs for him to fall asleep on his own.

I can’t dance. When I was a vodka-swilling teenager I was pretty convinced that the only reason I wasn’t headed towards being a professional dancer was because I was tall. I think my limbs are too long, so by the time a move hits my elbows and knees my body’s forgotten where I began and my torso’s started the next move. It creates an almighty tangle.

I’m improving at being bad at things and doing them anyway because they make me smile. I never wanted to do anything I wasn’t excellent at immediately, anything that involved being just good enough was never good enough for me. Now I knit wonky scarves and blankets, I take semi-competent photos, I even occasionally creak my way through a beginner yoga class.

I’m improving at being kind. I’ve got a way to go and my self-righteous indignation still steps in with tiresome regularity, but I have kindness at the front of my mind as often as possible and it’s getting a little more natural.

I’m improving at writing. I was too scared to write any of the thoughts that poured through my head for years, but I started a few months ago and it’s slowly becoming easier to transfer thoughts into words.

I’m good at being truthful. I was deeply ashamed of my chronic lying when I was at school and spoke to nobody about it. The lying slowed down in my twenties when I started to like myself and learned to laugh kindly at myself. It still crops up very occasionally, when I’m scared and don’t have time to process the fear, but mostly I don’t lie any more.

I’m good at laughing. I didn’t laugh for a while when I was younger. Life seemed hard – full of interrogation-bright lights and cruelly-clawed corners. I still find there are times when my laughter feels muted, but I deeply want a life with laughter and I’ve worked hard at finding it. Most of the time it’s there and I love to laugh.

I’m good at understanding. Life has thrown a fair few curve balls over the years and if it’s taught me anything it’s to cut a little slack to those around me. Life’s hard enough without me adding to the mix. As Socrates says in one of my favourite quotes of all time, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

I’d love to know your can’t, improving and good abilities in comments (or write a post about it!). Any other wonky scarf knitters out there?

And here is my delicious dip triptych for all those can’t moments, can moments, and every moment in between.

Roasted Beetroot , Garlic & Yoghurt Dip {Gluten Free}

  • 800g beetroot
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tbl sp olive oil
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 200°C

Line a baking tray with baking paper

Place beetroot and garlic onto baking tray and brush with half the olive oil

Roast for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender when tested with a skewer

Set aside for 20 minutes to cool
Gently peel and discard skin from beetroot (the skin becomes quite papery so this is easier once cool) and squeeze out the garlic flesh
Roughly chop the beetroot and place into a food processor with garlic flesh, lemon juice and the remainder of the olive oil

Blend until smooth and transferring to a bowl

Stir in yoghurt, dill, and salt and pepper

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow flavours to develop

Herbed Ricotta Dip {Gluten Free}

  • 450g full-cream ricotta
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp capers (if you’re not a fan of capers, replace with the zest and juice from 1 lemon)
  • 4 tbl sp good quality olive oil
  • 4 tbl sp fresh herbs, chopped very finely (I used 1 tbl sp each of chives, dill, mint and flat-leaf parsley)

sieve ricotta into bowl using a fine wire-mesh sieve (the kind you use to sieve flour).

stir in the garlic, capers, olive oil and herbs

Put the mix in a food processor and blend until smooth

Serve at room temperature

Pea & Broad Bean Hummus {Vegan & Gluten Free}

  • 250g fresh or frozen peas
  • 250g fresh broad beans, podded (no need to remove their pale green jackets) or use frozen (defrosted)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp good quality olive oil

Tip the broad beans into a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 3 mins.

Add the peas and cook for another 4 minutes.

Drain, cool under cold water, then drain again thoroughly before popping the beans out of their skins.

Put 3 tbsp oil in a pan, heat gently, then add the garlic. Cook for 3 mins, on a very low heat, until the oil is infused and the garlic has softened but is not coloured. Tip the oil and garlic into a jug and cool

Put the mix in a food processor and blend until smooth


3 thoughts on “Can’t, Almost, Can / Dip Trilogy {gluten free & vegan}

  1. Jan-Maree (Embroidery Artist) says:

    Beautiful words. You’re writing is so good. I am enjoying your blogs xxx

    Sent from my Telstra Next G device


  2. Pingback: ~ 1/3 of December 2013: Three Spoonfuls of Abilities | Temporal Distortion

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