The world's largest zucchini, to date, is a whopping 65 pounds ~ the average weight of an eight-year-old boy. Wow!

"Why the fascination with giant zucchini," you ask? Well, it all started back in around 1981 when my family decided to turn our side yard into a vegetable garden. After several weekends of sifting rocks and debris from the sandy soil (my brothers and I didn't mind...we were pretending to be 49ers panning for gold), adding in some good ol' manure (remember this was back in the days before organic soil and compost were readily available), and hoeing some rows, we we were ready to "grow". Please pardon the garden puns ~ I clearly can't help myself. We planted carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, corn, an assortment of herbs, and zucchini.

I should probably mention that I grew up in Pebble Beach, California (simple little ranch home, not an estate) ~ an area not typically know for it's sunshine or good climate. We lived in the part of Pebble Beach known as the Fog Belt. Nice, huh? You can probably figure out where this is going...tiny little mutant carrots, a few handfuls of herbs (Oh yay, CHIVES! Kids just love CHIVES!), and a single strawberry that looked like Jimmy Durante. We were all so discouraged by this pitiful harvest that we didn't even bother to ask a neighbor to water what was left of the garden when we took off for vacation. Fast forward three weeks...

...We return home from vacation, expecting a wasteland of brown, shriveled vegetation. And that's exactly what we found, except, in the midst of the dryness and decay, we had, what from our child's-eye-perspectives seemed like a 65 pound zucchini! It was probably only about 6 pounds, tops, but it was still pretty impressive.

My mom turned that behemoth into several dozen loaves of the most wonderful zucchini bread ever! I've been nostalgic for zucchini ever since. So, when I visited my friend Carri's ranch last year, I was positively giddy when I saw a whole row of giant zucchini. Carri was kind enough to let me take one home. I took it to school the next day (did I mention I work at an elementary school?) where I was able to show it to several classes. I had each class guess how many zucchini muffins they thought it would make. That night, I baked, and baked, and baked... 256 zucchini muffins to be exact. The kids were thrilled to eat the "results" the next day. There was enough leftover to feed the entire staff.

Whether you have a monolithic zuch of your own, or just enjoy a good slice of zucchini bread now and then, here's my mom's very own, super easy, always delicious recipe:

Momjane's Zucchini Bread (love ya mom!)

3 cups flour ( I now make it replacing one cup with whole wheat flour ~ tastes great)
1 TB cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350.
Sift first five ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat sugar and oil till well blended.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Stir in zucchini.
Add dry ingredients. Stir well, but do not overbeat.
Pour into 2 greased loaf pans (or five mini loaf pans, or a few muffin tins).
Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Please join in the fun by sharing your own freakazoid veggie stories...

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