October 14, 2014

Pumpkin Preparation

Due to the cooler fall temperatures here, my kids got their wish of carving our pumpkins early while the selection at the store was of plenty. We were going away from Thanksgiving weekend, so I thought it would definitely be worth carving them before our trip, ensuring we would get the most bang for our buck as they could be displayed for at least 3 weeks up to Halloween.

I purchased a larger classic orange pumpkin, and a medium sized white one. I couldn't resist getting two, as the white ones were so nice! I also bought the $5 carving kit by Pumpkin Masters that was on display beside the pumpkins at the grocery store. Mind you, I ended up finding a similar kit at Wal-Mart later that week, for the same price but with larger tools which would have made my job a little easier and would probably ensure the kit lasts more than one Halloween.
The kit (similar to the one shown here) included a rotary wheel to transfer your image, a scoop, two different size saws, a pick to punch holes, and images to transfer. After two carved pumpkins, both saws were quite bent. But all in all, the tools worked well.
1. The best tip ever when it comes to pumpkin carving is to cut a hole through the bottom instead of the top. There is nothing more difficult than trying to light a candle from the top, and I like to use real candles!
2. So after cutting open, cleaning out and carving my pumpkins, I let them soak in a water bath with bleach for a few hours. This prevents mold from forming and ruining your jack-o-lanterns prematurely.
3. Finally, I rubbed all cut edges with Vaseline petroleum jelly. This will help it last as long as possible.

After 1 week and a half, my pumpkins still look perfect. Will it last another 2 and a half weeks until Halloween? I sure hope so! Our temperature has fluctuated a lot this fall, so if they end up crumpling before October 31, I'm sure they won't be the only ones in town!

As for other Halloween decorating, I will take out my usual suspects of pumpkins, vampires and treats. I keep things pretty simple and G rated, as Luca is still young and afraid of scary things.
Happy Halloween and Happy Fall to All!