Pumpkin Carving 101

I LOVE pumpkins, though you may well have guessed this already by the seasonal layout of my blog at the moment. Autumn is my favourite season, and October may well be my favourite month, purely for the fact that pumpkins become readily available. These great big orange orbs make the darker evenings much more fun, and all the brighter when carved into a pretty lantern and filled with candlelight! Sadly there aren't any pick your own pumpkin patches in the local area, so I had to make do with picking out the biggest one I could find at Sainsbury's, and carried it home with a stupidly big grin on my face. Pumpkin carving is definitely one of my favourite seasonal activities, perhaps only second to decorating the christmas tree. Here's a little how-to, incase you've never done it before!
You will need: a big old pumpkin (smaller ones are fine, but I find the bigger they are, the easier they are to carve!) and a serrated knife, steak knives like this one are great.
Scoop out the innards. A spoon is helpful at this point! Big old supermarket carving pumpkins aren't great for eating unfortunately, so it's best to chuck the insides, especially the stringy bits. The more you can scrape out at this point the better, as the less moisture it will be able to retain, so therefore the longer it will last.
 Pick your design, and draw it on. A dry erase whiteboard pen is great as you can remove any extra once you've finished. Pinterest is great for inspiration, I found this design on there and drew it onto the pumpkin, though you can find stencils that you can print off and draw around if you so wish.
 Get cutting! I don't really have any advice for this other than you'll need a mix of sawing, stabbing and poking (technical terms here), it's not really an exact science, but be careful you don't hold it from one side as you cut through the other and stab yourself in the finger...
 Clean off any extra pen that you may not have cut through, and tidy up any rough cuts. I find its easier at this point to get any remaining stringy bits out of the centre, so now is a good time to give your pumpkin a bit of tidy up! All you need now is to pop in a candle or tealight, and get glowing!
What have you been carving? I'd love to take a look, so please send me your links!

Labels: , , , , ,