The best part of Halloween is definitely dressing up. Period. Sometimes I know what I’ll be masquerading as about a month or two in advance. But, the one thing that is almost as fun, and brings people together for an oddly satisfying ritual, is pumpkin carving. There's something about the mixture of nature, art, and crisp cool night air that really gets folks into a holiday spirit.
Now, I know we’ve all done this for ages, but who doesn’t like a motivating refresher? And, maybe you’ll learn a new technique or find inspiration for your next little orange victim!
sharp, serrated knives (thick for large ares, skinny for narrow areas)
pumpkin hole punchers (they really help to get things started!)
metal spoons or ice creams scoops
a couple of bowls (depending on how many pumpkins you’ll be gutting!)
markers (dry erase, if possible)
paper (if you need to sketch out some ideas)
votive candles and matches (with adult supervision!)
**cookies and treats
**optional, but make the experience more magical.
1) Make sure you’ve covered the table or whatever area you’ll be working on. Lay out your essentials.
2) Sketch out an idea on paper if you’re a Nervous Nelly like me.
3) Draw your design on the pumpkin.
**Look around for inspiration. Never know when it might strike!**
4) Insert a wide serrated knife at an angle to carve a lid that will sit nicely and not fall into the pumpkin.
5) Carve all the way around in a circle, then gently wiggle the lid loose.
6) Scoop out the seeds. In one bowl, discard the pumkin seeds. In another bowl, discard pumpkin flesh chunks.
**Set aside the seeds for roasting!** ** If you're feeling extra ambitious, and you've used baking pumpkins, save the clean chunks for pie, or muffins, or beer!**
7) Start carving out your design. (*Don't be discouraged if some folks finish before you do :) *)
Use appropriate sized knives depending on the carving area size.
8) Carve slowly and carefully. You don't want to loose an eye...or a tooth! If your design lines meet close together, be sure your knife doesn't angle too much causing the flesh to lose stability.
9) Bring your creation outside to the porch. Light a candle and carefully place inside the pumpkin and replace the lid.
10) Marvel in your awesomeness!
Happy Halloween! Have fun and be safe!