This is the first year I experimented with a veggie garden. I’ve been an avid (well avid for about 6 weeks a year) flower gardener and amateur landscaper for 14 years. I grew up in Idaho where my Mom always had a large garden (and frankly I never appreciated because it involved what seemed like many hours of rock gathering, weed pulling & picking slugs off tomato plants – still eww!).
Finally fed up with the produce we get in Alaska (where cucumbers are really just for color and half way decent tasting tomatoes cost more per pound that New York strip), I decided to give a little garden a shot.
So one day mid April (with 6 feet of snow still in my yard), I went to the hardware store to get some pre-made gardens. I ended up having to wait until Memorial Day to put them in seems how it snowed about 12 inches May 19th! I talked (or maybe bribed through use of power tools) my 11 year son into helping me put the beds together, threw some dirt & fertilizer in and went to the greenhouse. When I got back, my son said, “Mom, I think you are going to need a LOT bigger garden.” Ya well, needless to say, things were a bit squished.
So you can somewhat understand how as I was digging around in the garden today, I was completely surprised to find a gigantic zucchini squash hiding out under the overgrown and crowded foliage. Alaska is famous for gargantuan vegies (think 138 pound cabbages) http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/giant-cabbage-sets-world-record-alaska-state-fair.
But my ambitions for my zucchini was not to take to the fair, but to eat! So I called my Mom, “what to do with this huge zucchini”. She said really there is only one good use for large zucchini (which suffers greatly compared to it’s smaller counter part – hint – pick zucchini small!) -make a bread of some kind.
I got a great recipe from my mother in law for Pumpkin Zucchini Bread – it was excellent and the kids loved it! Give it a try if you too have an overabundance of pumpkin or zucchini or you just want to try something new and yummy.
Pumpkin Zucchini Bread
Ingredients: 3 eggs, lightly beaten, 2 c sugar, 1 can pumpkin, 1 c melted butter, 1 TB vanilla, 3 c flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. each of baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves, 1 c shredded zucchini and 1 c chopped walnuts (optional).
Combine eggs & sugar. Add pumpkin, butter and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Stir in zucchini and walnuts. Pour into two greased & floured 9x5x3″ loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min.