Dear Al A. Carte,
My neighbor is “high-strung,” and I try to maintain cordial relations with her and her husband. At times, she is overly friendly, and can tie me up, carrying on a conversation for hours. The rest of the time, she totally ignores me. I’m tired of dealing with her, but need to remain friendly, for the sake of the neighborly thing. Any suggestions?
Dear Fed Up,
Sounds like your neighbor is a PESTo.
David’s Basil Pesto
2 cloves of garlic
1 ½ TBL lightly toasted pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
¾ cup plus ½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients, except the ½ teaspoon olive oil, in a food processor and process until a puree forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer to an airtight container and pour the remaining ½ teaspoon of olive oil over the pesto, covering completely. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
The pesto will keep for several days, tightly covered, but will lose its bright green color after the first day.
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You neighbor may have serious problems that you don’t know about. When you see her, smile, even if she’s in a bad mood. If she tries to engage you in conversation, keep it brief and excuse yourself. If she persists, tell you have an appointment or need to return a phone call. After a while, she may get the hint.