Pumpkin Carving is a longstanding tradition in the United States to celebrate the Halloween holiday. Pumpkins can be purchased from grocery stores, garden stores, or even from local farms where they are grown. This year we purchased our pumpkin from Trader Joes. The past two years when my husband and I were living in New York, we went out to a local farm in the outer boroughs to get our pumpkin, but this fall has just been too hectic to get away! Pumpkin carving is one of the messiest part of Halloween, and not to mention that carving a pumpkin is extremely strenuous. Usually I have to make my husband do it, because I’m just not strong enough to cut it! My favorite part of the pumpkin carving process is to remove the seeds, which I then soak and roast in the oven, topping them with different spices. Roasted pumpkin seeds are absolutely delicious! I particularly enjoy the garlic salted pumpkin seeds.
Another thing which I plan to do this year, but haven’t in previous years, is to process the pumpkin mash from the inside, in a food processor and then save it for making pumpkin sauces and breads. Pumpkin puree which is processed can be frozen for later use too.
Pumpkin is rich in many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, B, C, E Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Iron, and a whole lot of fiber. It’s a shame we don’t indulge in much pumpkin all year round because it is a super food!
The steps to carve a pumpkin:
1) Using a serrated knife (bread knife), cut in an up and down motion on the top of the pumpkin to remove the stem, or the pumpkin head.
2) Using a large stainless steel spoon or an ice cream scoop, remove the innards of the pumpkin a little at a time. (if you don’t like gooey things, I’d recommend avoiding this process).
3) In a strainer, try to sift out the pumpkin seeds from the gooey pumpkin innards and set them aside in a small bowl.
4) In another bowl, put the remaining pumpkin innards.
5) Once the insides are scooped out, you can begin carving a unique design on your pumpkin!
6) After you have carved the design, place a small tealight candle or an LED light inside your pumpkin.
7) Turn off the lights and take photos of your unique pumpkin carving and post them on facebook or share them with friends and family.
Tips: I’d recommend planning your pumpkin design in advance of carving it, by drawing it out in pencil on piece of paper. This way you can make sure that you get the scale and size right for when you actually start carving.
*To make your pumpkin stand out from the crowd, you can add accessories to it- for example if you are carving a witches face, then add a witches hat to the top! Or if you are carving a girly pumpkin, then add earrings to the side where its ears would be.
See this site for a list of helpful tools which you can use for some of the more detailed carving work.
Some of my favorite pumpkin designs:
- Frankenstein’s Skin Halloween Soup Recipe
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe