We really enjoy carving pumpkins for Halloween. Every October we go through about three sets of pumpkins – carving one set, lighting those every night until they mold, then getting fresh pumpkins and repeating. We don’t do painstaking masterpieces, like so many you see at this time of year – we just have a bit of fun. It’s a nice way to spend an evening. 🙂
Here’s the first set we made this year:
Chris did his usual cyclops one, and I was impressed enough with the stem on this particular pumpkin that I made it into the nose. 🙂
This past weekend, we carved the second set:
Chris went for a face again, but this time I tried a spiderweb. We don’t have very fine cutting tools – we just use kitchen knives and boxcutters – so this was a bit of a challenge. It came out okay, though!
We had fun with it, and had some pumpkin pie when we were done. It was a nice conclusion to our anniversary. 🙂
I get really confused when people talk about carving pumpkins and then, afterwards, using them to make pumpkin pie: all I can think is they only use them as jack o’lanterns for one night? And then use them before they mold?
I tried making pumpkin pie out of pumpkins once (not ones I’d carved first, mind – fresh ones); the pumpkin was too wet. Pumpkin pie is a custard pie, so it’s very finicky: the pumpkin must be the right consistency. Pumpkins are grown extra large for carving, and they follow the same rule as all the other fruits and vegetables: the larger the fruit/vegetable, the less flavor it has. So, if you could manage to make pie from a carving pumpkin, it’d really just taste like the sugar, etc, you add, rather than pumpkin, I’m convinced. Moreover, there’s another rule: the larger the pumpkin, the stringier it is. That consistency isn’t appropriate for making a custard pie.
For pumpkin pies from scratch, you need a sugar pumpkin. I haven’t been able to work out if this is a different variety of pumpkin altogether, or if it’s just a smaller pumpkin. I don’t actually care, mind you: we’ll just keep using the canned pumpkin, which is always the right consistency and flavor. It’s one of the very few canned things I’d never do without.
We’ve tried coating our jack o’lanterns with vaseline (a tip we found online towards the beginning), but it’s quite messy and doesn’t seem to lengthen their life before molding, so we just leave them au natural now – which means we can chuck em in the compost, so that part’s better, at least.