It's Lunker time in the vegetable garden!

Over the last few weeks, we've been enjoying the fruits of our vegetable garden -- cucumbers, zucchini, beans and (finally) my tomatoes ripened. I've shared with neighbors, co-workers and even the guys who were working on gas meters in the neighborhood. I've frozen a little, but it looks like time to make zucchini bread.

Last night I pulled a 17" zuch out of the garden. As hard as I try to pick the fruit when it's young, something comes up, I go out of town or in this case, a big leaf hides the fruit. Monster zucchini is easy to deal with. If you don't have all the ingredients for bread, you can simply grate the lunker and freeze it for use later in soups, muffins or more bread. But what can you do with lunker cucumbers? We don't eat pickles fast enough. Any ideas?

One lunker I'm happy for are my heirloom tomatoes. I've never grown heirlooms before and never grown purple colored tomatoes, but tried this year with pleasing results. I prune and stake my tomatoes rather than cage because of my small back yard. The Russian Sea Man tomato plant grew so large it cracked the 1"x1" cedar pole! And the Brandywines -- WOW! They are worth every bit of effort starting from seed.

Lunker tomatoes are deliciously awesome but the purple color and looks may put some people off. These photos show top and bottom of the Brandywine (red) and Cherokee Purple (purple, cracked). Both have delicious flavor and the Cherokee Purple tastes less acidic than most. A friend said that she brought a purple tomato salad to a potluck and everyone stayed away from the bowl until she actually explained they were supposed to be that color. Once Mikey tried it, the bowl was cleaned out!

At the State Fair, they always show the big pig... I bet he's the one that cleans out those lunkers found under leaves.