It’s that time of the year again when everyone is on a hunt for the best pumpkins and costumes for their Haloween parties. Although people get excited and buy their pumpkins as soon as October starts, waiting is probably the right thing to do and here is why: Most pumpkins will be rotten beyond recovery after a week and a half to two weeks. With this in mind, buy your pumpkin about a week or less before Halloween and buy it from a pumpkin patch if possible.
Halloween is just around the corner and it is time for us to learn the fun skill that is pumpkin carving.
What you need:
- Choose the right pumpkin: When you look for your pumpkin, make sure to check if it's free of nicks, bruises, and cuts. The stem of a healthy pumpkin should be sturdy and green. You can knock on the skin like you would a melon; if you hear a hollow sound, the pumpkin is ripe. Also, the base of the pumpkin should be flat and smooth so you can display it once you are done the carving. As for the size, we know that selecting a round, medium-sized pumpkin is a popular option. But you can choose the size according to the design you are going to carve.
- Trace your design: This is the fun and therapeutic part. The internet is full of great characters and faces that you can carve or you can go with the typical toothed grin. The key if having fun and not worrying about getting perfect results. To trace your design, take a permanent marker and start drawing your design on the pumpkin. Using a dry-erase marker will give you the option of trying again if you mess up.
- Choose a method of carving: The common way of carving a pumpkin is to hollow it and then carve through the outer gourd into the hollow centre. But there are other ways, which will give the pumpkin a longer life. For instance, If you carve out the “negative space” around character’s shape, then carve out features like eyes or a mouth, you'll end up with a circle of light around the dark shape, with lighted details.
- Start Carving: Start by laying down some newspaper on your kitchen table to avoid getting it messy. Or what is even better, do it outside, if you have a garden or a balcony. Choose two of your sharpest knives. One, large and one small parring or filleting knife and let’s begin.
- Cut the lid out: Measure a circle with about a 2-inch radius from the stem and cut around it. Angle the point of the knife in towards the centre of the circle. The lid will then sit in a bowl-shaped indentation that prevents it from falling into the centre of the pumpkin. Pull the lid out by the stem and cut any extensive parts that are attached to it.
- Remove the seeds: Take a large silver tablespoon and remove all the seeds from inside of the pumpkin. Put the seeds in a bowel to dry and have them later. Scrape the pulp as well to have a perfectly clean pumpkin.
- Carve the design: Cut precisely along the design that you've traced on the pumpkin's surface. Draw the knife back and forth, while maintaining a steady downward pressure until you have carved the whole design. Take your time while you use a gentle back and forth motion to cut into the pumpkin. And be careful when handling a sharp knife.
- Display your pumpkin: Now hat you are done with the carving process, you can put a small candle inside your pumpkin put the lid back on and display it in a safe area. Remember to blow out the candle before going to sleep.
In conclusion: No matter if you get the perfect design or not, make sure to have a good time. That’s the whole point of holidays. And if you are planning to cook some delicious Pumpkin based food, then read our latest blog post about How to cut a Pumpkin: For Cooking and for Carving.