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How to Carve a Pumpkin

January 31st, 2010 · No Comments · Holidays

How to Carve a Pumpkin

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Every Halloween kids and the young at heart take to the pumpkin patch looking for that perfect soon-to-be-Jack-’O-lantern.  Here’s a step-by-step on how to carve the perfect pumpkin:

You’re going to need:

  • A round, smooth pumpkin – tall or short are both OK
  • A short sharp knife, or (even better) a pumpkin carving knife
  • A large spoon
  • A fine-tipped felt or permanent marker
  • Vegetable oil
  • A large bowl to collect seeds and pumpkin gunk
  • Candy corn
  1. Start by drawing a hexagon around the stem of the pumpkin that is large enough to fit your hand through with a some room to spare.  Eat some candy corn.
  2. Carefully cut out the hexagon “lid,” angling the handle of the knife slightly away from the center of the pumpkin.  This angle will help to keep the lid in place.  Eat some more candy corn.
  3. Remove the lid and cut away the seeds and gunk that will be attached to the bottom of it.  Save the seeds if you want to roast them later.
  4. Now reach in and scoop out all the gunk and seeds from the inside of the pumpkin.  A large spoon will help with this.  This is the kids’ favorite part.  Wash your hands and – you guessed it – treat yourself to some more candy corn.
  5. When the inside of the pumpkin is clean, carefully draw your pattern on the outside of the pumpkin.  Don’t make the details too fine, or it will be very difficult to carve.
  6. Use your sharp knife to carefully pierce the pumpkin inside of the facial features and carefully cut along the lines you’ve drawn.  This is where a pumpkin carving knife will really help to get the finer details.
  7. Remove the facial features by pressing on them from the inside with your hand or a spoon.  Reward yourself with another handful of candy corn.
  8. When the eyes, mouth, etc. have been removed, rub some vegetable oil on the inside of the carved facial features and inside the pumpkin.  This will help it to stay fresh.
  9. Set a small votive or tea candle inside the pumpkin and light it.  This will create the subtle glow that’s so reminiscent of Halloween.

Stand back and admire your handiwork, then look mournfully at your empty bag of candy corn.  Better get some more before the trick-or-treaters arrive!

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