Halloween is one week away! And, with the weekend just around the corner, perhaps you are planning a trip to the pumpkin patch (or the grocery store) to pick out the perfect pumpkin. If you already have your pumpkin, kudos to you my friend! But, for those of you who don’t, there are a few steps you should follow to make sure you pick the very best one.
- Look for a pumpkin with a deep orange hue.
- Check the bottom of the pumpkin to make sure it isn’t soft and mushy. And, for optimal display, make sure the bottom is flat.
- Make sure the stem is firm and secure.
- Avoid pumpkins with bruises.
- Pick one with a smooth surface for easier carving.
Now that you have your pumpkin, you are ready to carve! Best practice is to carve your pumpkins a couple of days prior to Halloween. When you are ready to start your masterpiece, ensure that you have all of your tools ready. Also, set up a carving spot that you don’t mind getting messy (especially if you have little hands helping!).
If you aren’t exactly sure what you want to carve, I have rounded up some great ideas to help inspire your creativity!
Ghosts, tombstones, and witches are common carving designs. You can also consider using different sized pumpkins to bring your carving to a whole new creepy level. Incorporate a smaller pumpkin in the mouth of a larger pumpkin, complete with jagged teeth, and you are sure to create a crowd pleaser!
Perhaps you are looking to turn down the scary a notch or two. No problem! There are many options that don’t have to be frightening. Cute monsters, super heroes, or goofy faces are great alternatives. Plus, they are sure to delight younger visitors on Halloween night.
If carving isn’t your area of expertise, then this might be the perfect option for you! Instead of carving, drill small holes into your pumpkin. Let your creativity lead the way and you will end up with gorgeous pumpkins to greet your trick or treaters. Fill the pumpkin with twinkling light, and you are sure to delight.
Sometimes, the best option is to keep it traditional. You can’t go wrong with a carving a classic pumpkin face. And, there is an incredible amount of options available, depending on how intricate you want to make your design.
Don’t forget! Once you have scooped out all of the goop and seeds from your pumpkin, roast up the seeds and enjoy a delicious snack to reward your hard work.
Follow these easy steps to yummy pumpkin seeds:
Heat it up
Preheat your oven to 250° and line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease it with butter or oil.
Get rid of the gunk:
Separate the gunk from the pumpkin seeds. Do your best to get them as clean as possible.
Shake it off:
Rinse and drain your pumpkin seeds. Make sure to dry them well before roasting.
Spread the seeds evenly on your baking sheet and season with whatever you like. Bake for 45 minutes, making sure you toss them occasionally. Increase the oven temperature to 325° after 45 minutes. Continue baking until the seeds are lightly browned (approximately five more minutes).
Serve and enjoy!
I hope you have a frighteningly fantastic Halloween. Do you have any traditions you incorporate every year? Let’s chat!