Pumpkin Carving Time

By: Julie Day

Pumpkins carved for Halloween

Around my house, fall means pumpkin carving time! Last weekend, we visited a local pumpkin patch and lugged home a carful of pumpkins for an evening of friends, mulled cider, pumpkin carving, and – of course – pumpkin cheesecake! Check out these scary guys – I’m sure they’ll keep away any Halloween goblins (and possibly frighten the mailman).

Those nifty little pumpkin-carving kits are a far cry from my childhood memories of butcher knives and triangle-eyes! The tiny little saws are much safer and make more detailed shapes, turning even reluctant artists into Picassos.

The kits come with templates and ideas, or you can use the tools to create your own wicked design. Don’t forget a little biodegradable Pumpkin Fresh spray-on preserver to help your pumpkin last longer.

There are just so many things fun about pumpkin carving, whether you’re five or ninety-five. It’s creative, whimsical, and reminds us to stay young. It’s a perfect reason for friends and family to get together and play, and it’s a great way to celebrate the first chilly nights of fall. And best of all, it’s unabashed permission to make a tremendous and glorious mess.

So spread out some plastic and just let the pumpkin seeds fly, and enjoy some pure old-fashioned fun. I think we could all use a little more of that!

While you’re at it, try saving and roasting the pumpkin seeds for a fireside treat. Here’s how:

  1. As you’re scooping out your pumpkins, separate the seeds into a bowl.
  2. Rinse the seeds to remove all the stringy goo, then spread them out on a towel to dry overnight.
  3. Toss the seeds in a bowl with a little melted butter and salt.
  4. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees, stirring occasionally, until they’re a nice golden brown (about 20-30 minutes, but keep an eye on them).
  5. For variety, you can spice them up with garlic, red pepper, or Worcestershire sauce, or stay in the holiday spirit with a little cinnamon and sugar.

For more information, check out PumpkinCarving101.com.

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