Although we do not want to lose our customs (because we must not lose them) we must recognize that Halloween has long arrived to stay, so since we cannot win this celebration, it is better that we join it. And what better way to do it than by decorating our home with the most traditional elements? That is to say: with pumpkins. So today we are going to explain how to create real works of art carving pumpkins for Halloween.
Surely you already know how much it costs to cut a pumpkin, not in vain we often use it in our kitchen, so we are going to explain some trick to facilitate this task and also get an original decoration beyond drawing two triangles and a circle. And of course, do not throw away the remains! we have a lot of delicious recipes with which you can use them.
To begin with our work, obviously, we will need at least one pumpkin and a few tools to be able to carve it: a large spoon (it can be an ice cream scoop), a small and sharp knife, one or two thin-bladed knives and a plastic to collect the remains that we are removing from our pumpkin. The kind of pumpkin will depend a little on the final effect that we want to achieve, as well as the design that we choose to decorate it.
The next thing you should be clear about is what drawings you are going to do. If you only want simple carving on your pumpkin, just take a marker and draw what you think on it, but if you want something more complete, look for a terrifying template in the internet search engine, you will find a lot of good ideas that you can trace on your pumpkin.
A good idea is to just thickly write something like “Boo!” or “Uhhh”, they are short options that you will not find too much to get, although you can also put together several pumpkins and put a letter in each one to spell a word. It will depend a bit on the space you have and the size of the pumpkins you have chosen.
It can be much simpler if we turn to pumpkins than many supermarkets put up for sale for the specific purpose of becoming a Halloween decoration. They are usually of the easiest variety to cut, perfectly shaped for this task, and often incorporate guides for carving.
You can also take advantage of the strange shape or texture of a pumpkin to get a decoration with a more impressive effect, and of course do not underestimate the power of a good hat, for example a witch hat, it will be great! Do you already have the pumpkin chosen? The template printed and traced on it? The tools ready? We started!
How to decorate a pumpkin easily in three steps
Pulp cutting and extraction. With the thin-bladed knife, cut a circle in the top of the pumpkin around the stem or peduncle. Make the hole large enough to allow you to scoop out the entrails, seeds, and stringy membrane from the pumpkin with the spoon we have prepared. It will be better if we work on a table covered with newspaper to avoid staining. If we are going to keep the lid and put a candle, we make a small hole for the smoke to come out.
Size. If you have a freehand design in mind, your pumpkin is ready to carve, but if you are using a template, place it where you want on the pumpkin and secure it with tape. Use a small knife or sharp tool to trace the design, poking small holes throughout the design. For complicated designs, make sure these holes are close together. These will be your guidelines for carving. Then use the thin-bladed knife to carve the lines and create your design.
Retouching and lighting. Once your pumpkin is carved (that’s the most cumbersome and time-consuming part), you can trim the edges and clean up any pieces that may have fallen into it. It is ready for display. For an added effect, put a small candle inside to give life to your design, or some type of LED with a switch, which will be safer. Many even mimic the irregular movement of a natural flame, and they give the punch very well.
And with the remains, what do we do?
Here you do not have to throw anything away, with the pulp that we remove from the pumpkin we can prepare a lot of dishes, and not just creams or purees. In case you have run out of ideas, here is a selection of recipes with pumpkin that we have published in Direct to the Palate. You will tell us how your pumpkins have been for Halloween.
Savory cakes, rice and pasta
Photos | Unsplash
Directly to the Palate | 71 Halloween recipes: the definitive cookbook
Directly to the Palate | 16 quick and easy Halloween recipes to have fun cooking with kids