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Easy Basil Walnut Pesto

Easy Basil Walnut Pesto

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, nicking 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.

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.

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
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (and more if needed)
  1. 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.
  2. Before serving this pesto over pasta blending in a couple tablespoons of the hot pasta water can make it easier to work with.

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Real Life Farm Wife

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

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

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Wednesday 26th of September 2012

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.

Sandra - The Foodie Affair

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

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 :))

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

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!


Monday 24th of September 2012

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!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

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!