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Pumpkins to Impress!

by Reece Sadiq, Oct 2018

We all love a good Pumpkin carving competition at Halloween… after all, what ‘all hallows eve’ is complete without a scary face lit up in your window! Courtesy of Good Housekeeping, here’s some top tips to remember when creating your masterpiece this year:

1. Good carving starts with the right pumpkin.

Choose one that is fresh, with a sturdy stem, no bruises, and a flat bottom so it won’t roll while you carve.

2. Cut out the lid on an angle, not straight up-and-down.

This way the lid won’t drop inside the pumpkin when you replace it. A boning knifeworks best for this.

3. Scoop out all the pulp — and then some.

You can buy a special “claw” for this, but an ice cream scoop will do just fine. Thin the inner wall of the “face” area to 1 ¼-inch thick, so it will be easier to pierce the shell.

4. Hold the pumpkin in your lap.

It’s easier to carve features when the face is gazing up at you. And don’t cut on a slant — clean up-and-down slices look best. To make intricate designs, try using a small saw. Save yourself from creative blocks by getting a pumpkin carving kit, complete with a marker, scraper, cutting tools, and patterns.

5. Use your scraps creatively.

Make a tongue, pipe, or hair accessories out of a discarded piece of pumpkin shell, for example.

6. Keep your pumpkin fresh.

Spread petroleum jelly on the cut edges to seal in moisture. If your pumpkin still shrivels a few days later, you can revive it with a facedown soak in cold water for up to eight hours.

7. Create a chimney.

First, leave the lid on for a few minutes while the candle burns. Then make a small hole where the lid has blackened. Or, save yourself the stress and go with battery-operated votives instead.

8. Sprinkle a little cinnamon inside the lid.

When you light the candle, your jack-o’-lantern will smell like a pumpkin pie. Yum.