This week we will be carving out our pumpkins, now a few years back we would leave this until a few nights before Halloween. Mainly because they always go mouldy after a few nights. However you can do a few things to make them last a bit longer. I will tell you how we do it in this post.
When we lived in the city we would carve out maybe 20 pumpkins and have them all over the garden, ready for people to come knocking on the door, but since we moved to a farm in the middle of nowhere, no one actually comes trick or treating here, so we usually just carve one each, light them in the living room whilst we watch a few scary movies and maybe have one outside for the animals to enjoy.
How to carve the perfect pumpkin
- Choose wisely, the bigger the better. With the larger pumpkins it is actually easier to get the threads and seeds out.
- Using a sharp, serrated knife (you can use those little sets you can buy specifically for carving pumpkins) carve around the top so you can lift the crown off.
- Using a spoon and some elbow grease, start scooping out the threads and seeds. Then discard them or you can bake the seeds and eat them. Once you have the threads and seeds out you can remove a little of the flesh inside.
- Before popping the crown back on make sure you carve a little chimney for the smoke from the candle to get out or you will end up with a burnt crown.
- The dryer it is on the inside, the longer it will last. As soon as you start to carve the pumpkin all kinds of spores are attracted to the flesh because you have removed the protective rind. Dry it out before you place it outside.
How can you make it last longer?
Now this is something I started looking into a while back. I was finding that once our pumpkins had been carved and lit only for a few hours it was ending up with little furry bits of mould on them. Which resulted in us having to throw out our hard work after a few days. Not exactly what I had hoped for.
You can make your pumpkin last for up to 1 week longer using a bleach and water dip. You need 1 part Bleach and 10 parts water, soak your pumpkin in this bath for around 2/3 minutes. Let it dry completely before you use it again. You can also use this mix in a spray bottle and spray it everyday to reduce the mould build up.
Tips when picking
Check the whole pumpkin for any bumps, blemishes or cuts to the skin. If there are any at all I would not get that one. Make sure there are no soft spots anywhere on it and if you are not going to carve straight away make sure you turn the pumpkin to stop any soft spots forming.
What do you carve? Which character will you be doing this year?