As Autumn descends upon us and the nights draw in we grow ever closer to Halloween, a night of fun, scares, sweets, and of course, the hardy pumpkin. Halloween has grown ever more popular over the years here in the UK and by following our very simple guide you’ll soon be on your way to carving true works of scary yet wonderful art.
1) First choose a large pumpkin and use a small serrated knife to cut off the crown – don’t worry if the line isn’t perfectly straight, it’s all part of the fun!
2) Now use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and fibres and place them to one side. Once you’ve done that you can then remove some of the pumpkin flesh. Don’t take away too much though as you’ll want the walls of the pumpkin to have some strength.
3) Using a marker pen draw the outline of a nose, mouth and eyes on the pumpkin. Take your serrated knife and cut these parts out. Be careful to cut away from yourself and take your time.
4) Next, stick a tea light inside and replace the crown. Voila! You’ve just carved your first pumpkin! Once you’ve perfected your carving skills you could try doing more intricate designs on smaller pumpkins. And when it comes to the faces – why not try a jagged design for the crown with gaps cut out that look like stitches? The choice is yours!
But hang on, we’re not quite done yet. We still have the pumpkin flesh and seeds we scooped out earlier on. Firstly, the seeds can be roasted dry or eaten raw, they’re a great source of nutrients and are full of vitamin E and K so they make a great snack to carry around with you. Or, let the seeds dry out naturally and try growing your own pumpkins for next year by sowing directly into soil in late May when the weather has warmed up.
Pumpkin flesh meanwhile can be used to create a variety of tasty dishes that will go down a treat at any Halloween party. How about pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup or pumpkin and spinach lasagne? If that doesn’t tickle your taste buds then how about a pumpkin and sausage roast, pumpkin and bacon pasta or a nice pumpkin chutney? The number of dishes to be made from this oft overlooked food are endless but here are a few of our favourites.
Why not share with us your favourite pumpkin recipes or best pumpkin carving photos on our Facebook page!