October is the month for everything pumpkin. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin candles, pumpkin pie, and a good old classic pumpkin. Carving Jack-o-Lanterns is a favorite fall tradition for individuals and families alike. Have you dealt with frustration in the past when pumpkin carving time rolls around? If so, this list may help you achieve the perfect pumpkin this season.
Shop for the Right Pumpkin
When strolling through the pumpkin patch, keep an eye out for one that looks fresh and has a sturdy stem. Avoid pumpkins with bruises and be sure the bottom is flat so that it won’t roll when you begin carving.
Cut from the Bottom
To prevent the sides of the pumpkin from caving in, flip your pumpkin over and create the “lid” on the bottom as opposed to the top where the stem is.
Scoop All of the Pulp
Special tools are available for gutting pumpkins, but you can use an ice cream scoop from home as well. The “face” area being carved should be 1¼” thick so the shell will be easier to pierce.
Sketch Your Design on Paper
Sketching the design ahead of time allows you to have a stencil when it is time to carve. Simply tape it to the front of the pumpkin and use a fork or pen to poke holes along the lines.
Start with Rough Cuts
By getting larger pieces out of the way first, you are able to go back and clean up the edges later.
Be Creative with Scraps
With pieces of discarded pumpkin shell, you could make a tongue or hair accessories. Use your imagination!
Keep It Fresh
Spread petroleum jelly over the cut edges of your pumpkin to seal in the moisture. If the pumpkin still starts to go bad earlier than expected, soak it face down in cold water for up to 8 hours.
Sprinkle Cinnamon Inside
Throw a dash of cinnamon in the pumpkin and when you light it, you’ll create a delicious pumpkin pie smell.
Let your creative juices flow when pumpkin carving this year. Don’t forget to pick the perfect one at the patch and make it a fun event for the whole family to enjoy.