Halloween 2016 is fast approaching, and if you haven’t already bought some pumpkins for carving, going out this week to get them is a good idea. There’s no real rush because there always seems to be an overflow of pumpkins this time of year, especially if you live near the country.
If you are more of a city dweller, then perhaps go out sooner rather than later because stores could run out. Or just as bad, only have the pumpkins nobody else wanted. You know, the lopsided, gnarled, kind-of-rotting pumpkins. There are literally hundreds of Halloween pumpkin carving ideas out there, and if you’re lacking ideas for funny pumpkins, spooky pumpkins, or works-of-art pumpkins (because they are out there); then look no further because this little guide will give you some ideas.
So, getting pumpkins to carve is the first order of business. The size of pumpkin is entirely up to you and what you want to do with it. If you are planning on doing a funny pumpkin, like a Hillary pumpkin or the ever popular Trumpkin that has been seen about towns for the last two years, you will want to find medium-sized pumpkins so the face details won’t be too challenging to carve onto the pumpkin.
If you make it on a smaller pumpkin, it will require more intricate instruments for carving and will be a lot fussier. But it all depends on your skill level, time, patience, and dedication to the craft of carving.
Look for pumpkins with a flat bottom so they don’t roll when carving or when sitting perched on the front step. Make sure it isn’t rotting and is free of soft spots (because that means it’s on its way towards rotting). As for tools, getting the proper ones for the job is the best way to get it done right. Frustration and accidents are far more likely when a regular kitchen knife is used.
Pumpkin carving kits are easy to find this time of year and can be purchased for under $10. For the more adventurous, power drills, metal cookie cutters, and wood gouges can also be used; but don’t make this the first time you use a power drill if that’s the case. Get some assistance.
Scary pumpkin carvings and whimsical carvings are two of the more popular options. Search the Internet for some ideas or get stencils from the store. Depending on your artistic abilities, doing a freehand image with a marker on the pumpkin first is an ideal option. If not, a stencil will provide the outline; but you still have to use a marker for the outline.
Don’t forget to save the pumpkin seeds when cleaning out your pumpkin. They can be washed, coated in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then roasted in the oven on low for a few hours until golden brown. They make a great snack and are nutritious. They are actually an excellent source of zinc. The World Health Organization recommends eating them as a good way to get this mineral.
“Pumpkin Seeds,” The World’s Healthiest Foods web site; http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=82, last accessed October 24, 2016.