Thursday, October 6, 2011
I love the tradition of carving pumpkins. I don't even mind the slimy insides... you have to get the yummy seeds out some how!
I wanted to take my lovely pumpkins, purchased at the local grocery stores for $3.99 a piece, and create something a little more grown-up than your traditional smiley face jack-o-lantern. I thought stars would look nice and festive, but I cannot free-hand stars. And the paper templates never work as easily as they should. So, I came up with another solution.
But, before I get to the stars, I have a tip... when cutting the top of your pumpkin off, create a little arrow like this:
That way you'll always know how your 'lid' goes on and it will stay secure. :)
Now back to the stars. I bought a pack of 6 star-shaped cookie cutters off amazon for $6.00 and got to work. The cutters won't go through the whole pumpkin - it's just too tough.
I pushed the cookie cutter into the pumpkin so it left a mark. You have to rock it back and forth, up and down to make sure you get all sides of the star, you know, since a pumpkin is round. :)
Then cut through the star with a sharp knife. Start and the point of the star and work down. That way if the knife goes past the line it cuts into the center of the star, which will be discarded anyway.
Push the star out from the inside and then trim up the star. I angled my cuts toward the inside so you can't see the flesh from the front as much.
Continue adding stars around as much of the pumpkin as you want. I just did the front since it's sitting outside against the side of the house. I think it would look awesome to do the stars all the way around to set on a deck or patio for an evening gathering. Or to line the edge of the walkway to your front door on Halloween. The possibilities are endless. :)
I also did one with circle cookie cutters. I don't like it as much as the star pumpkin, but it's still fun!
Tip for the circles... after you mark the pumpkin with the cookie cutter, score the skin of the pumpkin with your knife and then make an X all the way through the middle of the circle. Push from the inside and the 4 quarters of the circle will come out. You'll have to do more trimming on the circles, but there is no way to get a clean circle if you push the knife through all the way.
Next time... I might paint my pumpkin silver before I cut the stars out. Wouldn't that be pretty?
So what do you think?! Do you usually carve pumpkins? Do you have a go-to design?