Last year we seemed to miss the whole pumpkin carving fun so this year we decided to make sure and we bought ours a week or so ago.
Last evening we were all sat around the kitchen table drawing the designs on to the pumpkin with pencil and then using an array of tools we set to work carving out our designs.
We shall start off with hubby's pumpkin which had a very unusual nose shape which was achieved first by drilling a large hole and then cutting a point on the top of it. He also added "hair" to his pumpkin along the top using a small penknife (carefully!) and this worked really well. This year the pumpkins were really firm and well shaped for doing this and the insides scooped out easily. I remember one year struggling so much that I was really glad when it was all over...took a bit of the fun out it.
Sophie drew on her design and I helped her to carve it out as I was scared that she may end up with a digit less on one hand. The idea is completely hers and the eyes were again drilled using an attachment normally used on wood. Cleaned up very carefully too and worked really well but I still think that was due to the firmness of the pumpkins in the first place.
You can see in this picture that I added some "Harry Potter" style lightening flashes to the lid of the pumpkin and they turned out pretty well when the candle was added.
The little tea lights that we use give of a surprisingly good amount of light and shone through the carved areas well.
We took these pictures outside in the garden once we had finished and Sophie is delighted with the outcome and it really is fun to go back to our own inner child as well.
For the first time I was able to gather enough pumpkin seeds to dry and bake in the oven. I found an idea on what to do on the Internet and then crossed my fingers. They tasted good, they are golden brown and not much to look at but with a dash of salt we were quite surprised at their taste. Last time I tried this it was rather a disappointment as there was only have about 10 seeds...hunted for more in the pulp but only 10 seeds were found!!!
We have kept a few seeds unbaked as Sophie would like to try and grew some for next year. Not so sure on the success of this but I am willing to give it a go.
We hope to go to Eden later as they have some Halloween activities going on but we shall see what the weather is doing and maybe take our lanterns with sone battery operated fairy lights inside instead of candles. They will then sit in the window for a while and then off into the garden.
Have a Happy (and Safe) Halloween