When it comes to zuchinni, neither Em nor I really like the little ones that much either. We prefer to let them mature. The really big ones are excellent for cooking with and adding to things like spagetti sauce, chili sauce and other dishes similar.
I remember our very first experiment with growing zuchini's back in 1988. Em was working for the government, so I was the house Dad for a while. We harvested zuchinis that year till they were coming out our ears, we ate em every which way. The last batch I ended up making 52 loaves of zuchini bread. Until one tries that, one really has not had a garden bread. Beats bannana or date bread by miles.. We still get large zuchini's, but we now limit the amount of plants we grow. It is also great in stir fry's, breaded and in the oven, breaded and cooked along with eggplant. The large one really lend themselves well to cooking. The smaller ones are nice in fresh garden salads or just to eat like a cucumber.
We have a really nice 6 qt Kitchen Aid with the food processor for lack of a better term at the moment, and we use that all the time for shredding our zuchinni and carrots. We also shred the larger cucumbers as well. One of my favourites is cucumber salad and thinly sliced or shredded cucumber on the bias is perfect after they have been seeded.
It is amazing what one can grow in a garden when one has the time to care for it. Harvest is a wonderful time of the year, but a good garden will provide all kinds of wonderful foods from 2 weeks after the intial planting say for radishes and other smaller veggies right through all summer till late September and early October...
I love gardening, and now that I have my Cubs, it is a whole heck of a lot less work