Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

Easy Basil Walnut Pesto

with 12 comments

easy pesto pasta

A Moral Dilemma.

And, no, it has nothing to do with pesto. I think basil pesto is pretty uncontroversial.

Anyway… if you drive, you’ve been on one side of this situation or the other… or both. You’ll be surprised to find that I’m actually not talking about the road rage that posesses my middle finger to have a mind of its own when people drive like snails in the left hand lane. I’m talking about parking lots. More specifically, knicking or dinging cars in parking lots.

Every car I’ve ever owned has been bumped or bonked or ever-so-slightly dented when left unattended in a parking lot. It’s a fact of driving life. I’ve never ever been one to drive in circles looking for rock star parking spaces. If I have to walk, I walk. If I have to run in the rain, then I run. I refuse to spend more time looking for a parking space than it would take me to actually walk to the entrance of wherever I’m headed. It annoys me to no end when I get stuck behind some lazy person that’s “waiting” for a space with their turn signal on while the rest of us helplessly pile up behind them, especially when I know they could have just nabbed the first available space and been halfway through their shopping list by the time they finally put their cars in park.

Sooooooooo RUDE.

People. If you are not handicapped or assisting the handicapped, just freaking walk. Okay?

I digress.

making basil pesto

The deal is, I just park my car straight IN BETWEEN THE LINES wherever I find a spot. Sometimes it’s next to the cart corral and I return to find a cart just hanging out on my front bumper. Sometimes it’s next to a sedan that clearly belongs to someone toting kids around and there’s a brand new scuff mark where their little people forgot to have spatial awareness (with {my} kids there is always that panicked warning before they open their car doors when you say, “WATCH!!! for the car over there… geez…”). I don’t guess I’ve ever owned a car nice enough to be one of those people (like my dad was) who parks reeeeeeeally far away from everything, like on the other side of the universe, so there is not a chance that anyone will ever park near your sweet sweet ride.

In all the time I’ve been driving, and with all the times my car has been binged by my parking lot neighbor, I’ve never had anyone leave me a note, or wait around to explain, or try to apologize. With regards to my personal property, I the motto is, “whoops! okay… moving on.” And I think that’s pretty standard, right? I mean, if you accidentally bump a car with your door in the parking lot of a shopping mall, are you actually gonna void out your whole day waiting for a stranger to come wandering out of Macy’s so you can properly explain that you’re the jackass that just scuffed the paint?

Who honestly does that? I wanna see a show of hands.

What’s the proper etiquette here?

Let me tell you what happened.

basil walnut pesto recipe

Chad and I made a quick grocery store run. It was dark and we were in our truck. The window tint on the truck is pretty dark, and with Chad driving and me fishing something out of my bag, I really wasn’t paying attention to where he parked, I just went to hop out. When I opened the truck door I heard a “thunk!” noise and realized that we’d parked our darkly tinted truck, in the dark, next to a very dark car— I had no idea it was there. I scootched out and walked towards the back of our vehicle where Chad was standing and he said, “You know you just hit that car, right?”

So I say, “Yeah, ummmm thanks for parking us ON TOP of that car…,” and we continued to poke fun at each other and hover while we decided what to do because I don’t think I’ve ever been the car-bumper. I’m always the car-bumpee. And then the worst thing ever happened…

The back door of the dinged car opened.

And out got this woman holding a teeny tiny baby.

I. Felt. So. Bad. So I blurted out,”I bumped your car!!! I’m so sorry!”

She said, “I know I felt something bump and saw you guys walk past…,” and her sentence just sort of dropped off as she walked toward the front of her vehicle to inspect the damage.

I had not yet inspected said damage and so I started to worry- what if I hit her car harder than I thought? Is this gonna be a really big deal? I feel so bad! This is so embarrassing! That baby is so tiny! I wonder if she’d let me hold it? STOP HEATHER. Just stop.

The woman turned with her tiny bundle and headed back our way and said, “It’s fine. It doesn’t look like much to me, but I work at the Toyota dealership, so I can just have one a the guys buff it out if it looks like more in the daylight.”

Meanwhile, I’m so embarrassed and profusely apologizing and asking her, “Are you sure? Is there anything we can do?”

She was so kind and so gracious… she just snuggled the tiny baby close, folded herself back into the comfort of the backseat, and told us to have a good night.

I really felt bad- nice girl, tiny baby, newer car- but what is the actual rule of thumb here? If she hadn’t been in the car to offer absolution and permiss our walking away, what were we supposed to do?

And if no one’s around to see what happened, what would you do?

I promised a recipe for this easy basil walnut pesto a week or so ago – the basil in my garden is still of epic proportions & I hope yours is, too! Because this stuff is gooooooood.

It’s also pretty comforting when you are completely mortified about playing bumper cars at the grocery store.

Easy Basil Walnut Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 cloves garlic, very finely minced

1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (and more if needed)

In a food processor or blender, place the basil, walnuts, garlic, and cheese. Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until the pesto is your desired consistency, adding more oil if necessary.

Before serving this pesto over pasta blending in a couple tablespoons of the hot pasta water can make it easier to work with.


Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 23, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Posted in Dinner

Tagged with , , , , ,

12 Responses

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  1. So funny that you posted this – just last week I had to leave a very strongly-worded (read: expletive-ridden) note on the windshield of a truck that was ACTUALLY touching the bumper of my car. As in, they parked, got out of the car, saw that our cars were LITERALLY bumper-to-bumper, and did not correct the mistake. I mean, I could care less about my ’97 saturn, but seriously? Also, these are fun:


    September 23, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    • I took a picture of two cars in a parking lot that were bumper to bumper that way just last week. When we were at the beach I bought those fake parking tickets. I use them.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

  2. Oh god rude drivers are absolutely the worst! I hate their impatience, especially since I’m on Ls!
    I love however your beautiful pesto!

    Choc Chip Uru

    Choc Chip Uru

    September 24, 2012 at 1:35 am

    • I have no patience for bad driving, but in the parking lot- you’re a nice girl- if you bumped a car, what would you do?

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 24, 2012 at 7:25 am

  3. I had this happen when I took several kids on my street to camp at our gym one morning. One little boy HEAVED my door open and it slammed into the car next to us. Hard. Gah!!!! It left a dent and some great red paint on their nice white car. We talked about how car doors SHOULD be opened and I got out some paper and a pen and left a note apologizing for the over exuberance of little boys who clearly need to be in camp. At the gym. Where they can be crazy all day and not bust something. Thank GOODNESS no one called me back and asked for money, because at the time I had been laid off and had nothing. But that little boy was terrified that some stranger was going to get him in trouble for messing with his car and really, that was kind of satisfaction enough for me. Would I have left a note if the children hadn’t been with me? No, I really wouldn’t, but then I don’t usually open my door hard enough to leave a red streak of evidence behind. Nice pesto recipe!

    Year Of Healthier Living

    September 24, 2012 at 7:58 am

    • Love the honesty, Deanna! And WHY do kids do that?! I swear whenever I park with the boys in the car I issue a freak-out warning before they get out every time. Do you know what you’re actually supposed to do in the car-ding scenario? I think most people walk off. Paint would totally be cause for a note, though. Unless you just discreetly get back in the car and move it… I honestly couldn’t tell if I damaged that lady’s car or not out there in the dark like that. And if she hadn’t been there I don’t know what I would have done? Like I said… no one has ever left me a note, ya know?

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

  4. I think you did the right thing – if I knew the people were there, I’d apologise, because that’s a polite thing to do and shows it was genuine mistake. But, if they’re not there, I’m not going to spend my day hanging about waiting for them just because of manners. As you say, it happens to everyoe and we all accept it, unless it’s a huge big dent! I think Deanna has a good point too – if it’s totally noticeable, a note’s a nice way to cover it! And, mmmmmmmm pesto and pasta!


    September 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    • I was soooooo embarrassed! We were standing there talking about it and trying to figure out what to do, but really just making fun of each other, and out came the girl with the baby! Because though it happens to everyone all the time, it’s not often we actually witness it, you know? I’m a note-leaver, but usually when I take a minute to write a note it’s because someone is parked like an ass.
      I adore this pesto- it’s fast and easy and tastes good on everything from chicken to pasta to veggies to bread!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 25, 2012 at 7:32 am

  5. I TRY to be super careful while opening car doors, and I’m the one that parks out in the boonies to avoid getting dinged, but it still happens. I try to be respectful to other people’s property, but I would only leave a note if it was obviously damaged, then I would bake them some cookies or whip up a jar of delicious basil pesto 🙂 All forgiven and forgotten :))

    Sandra - The Foodie Affair

    September 25, 2012 at 1:30 am

    • I’m always really careful, but this time I had no idea there was anyone beside us! Our truck sits up pretty high, it was dark, the tint is dark, her car was dark, and I was looking for gum in my bag lol. Anyway I felt so bad- If I’d had cookies or a jar of pesto I would have offered them up immediately!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 25, 2012 at 7:34 am

  6. I love, love, love pesto, but make mine with pine nuts. I’ll have to give the walnuts a try!

    Real Life Farm Wife

    September 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    • Oh I adore pesto, too! I love it with pine nuts, but they can be a little pricey and here sometimes they’re hard to find (like hazelnuts… I can NEVER find hazelnuts!!), but I always have walnuts for baking and they make a great substitute. Bonus: walnuts are listed as one of the top 25 heart-healthy foods.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 26, 2012 at 8:27 am

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