Last week, the internet - nay, the country - was buzzing with the news of Gigantor, the largest zucchini in Lake Balboa's history. California sun, fertile soil, nuclear fallout, many explanations were offered for Gigantor's genesis, but whichever creation myth people subscribed to, the excitement was palpable.
The questions were almost as prolific as the excitement. How did it get so big? How did you not see it before? What are you going to do with it? After briefly considering having Gigantor bronzed for prosperity, shipped to Africa to cure hunger, or lacquered into a weapon, I elected to go a more traditional route and eat it. We were going to a Father's Day barbecue and Gigantor, father of gardening fever, would be part of a side dish.
About 11 people were in attendance, which was no problem since Gigantor's could've yielded about 30 slices. I cut Gigantor into gigantic discs, patted them dry, dipped them in egg, dredged them in flour and fried them up in butter and oil. Then I topped each fried slice with this corn salad I've been making a lot lately. (NOTE: This corn salad is good with the prescribed scallops, better with grilled shrimp and still great even on its own as a side.)
Personally, I thought the zucchini slices were too floury. It was hard to get the flour to stick, so it clumped up a bit. But everybody at the party seemed to like it, at least to my face, and the zuccini itself was actually pretty sweet and tasty. I could've done better. I could've honored the life of Gigantor better with some salt, pepper and parmesan cheese in the dredging flour. I am sorry, Gigantor. I have failed you. I think with future zucchini this summer, regular-sized zucchini, I will whip up a batter and make fritters instead.
As I wrap up this eulogy for Gigantor, as you reflect on what his too briefly burning flame meant to your life, I would like to note that the universal male reaction to Gigantor was some sort of phallic entendre. Though, frankly, I think any woman that could find a use for a 13-inch zucchini that was 12 inches around at the base should belongs in the circus. The Hustler Circus in Gardena, California, opening May 2009.