How to Pick a Good Pumpkin. First, knock on the pumpkin to see if it’s hollow; hollow means ripe. Pick it up and tap it: It should feel sturdy. Check Out These Eco-Friendly Alternatives. Hold the pumpkin’s stem and make sure it is attached and solid. To carve your own pumpkin, you'll first need to purchase or pick one from a local farmer's market or pumpkin patch. You should submerge your pumpkin in a bucket filled with water and around 2/3 cup of bleach for around 24 hours. Whether you get your gourds from a local farm stand, a nursery, or a supermarket, finding the perfect pumpkin is one of the most important parts of the fall ritual, even if you aren’t "basic". If you've never used fresh pumpkin before, you might be a little confused about where to start. "You need to make sure that your pumpkin doesn't have any open holes," says Rufener. Precision Pumpkin Carving: Every year I carve at least a half dozen pumpkins. For example, cut a line for a mouth. The pumpkin carving rookie might not realise that a lot of designs you see have been done using stencils, so put the Sharpie down Picasso. Decorating it? Of course, you want to pick a pumpkin that’s free from blemishes and soft spots, but that doesn’t mean your gourd of choice needs to be flawless. Lifting the pumpkin will also give you … … Many Halloween and Thanksgiving traditions involve the carving of jack-o'-lanterns, and some pumpkins are sturdier and work better when hollowed out for carving. It’ll be a little harder to get a knife into it, but a thick rind makes a pumpkin last longer after it’s been carved,” he says. The best way to check for this is to ask the farm stand employees. It’s always best to pick a healthy one: it should be free of cuts & bruises, has a consistent color all around, and ripe (if you knock on it, you should hear a hollow sound). To check for soft spots, feel around the pumpkin with your hands and press across the skin of the pumpkin with your fingers. They will usually be able to tell you which pumpkins are the best for carving and which will be best for cooking. Pick a pumpkin that you can carry back with you. Pumpkin is also perfect for delicious, savory dishes: Pumpkin-and-Winter Squash Gratin, Slow-Cooker Chicken Stew with Pumpkin and Wild Rice, and Pumpkin Beer-Cheese Soup. “That means the rind is good and thick. Grab your pumpkin scoop or spoon and start scraping the heck out of the inside of your pumpkin. Choose a pumpkin with a smooth, flat face, with shallow ridges and few of them. Either way though, they are a type of produce, and like all produce, there are a few things to look for to determine if your pumpkin is fresh. Dry with paper towels and … BUY NOW Lakeland pumpkin carving kit, £9.99. However, lighter-skinned pumpkins may not last as long after carving. While dings and dents may give a pumpkin character, they also invite pests and encourage rotting. If you pick up the pumpkin, and the stem bends and breaks, put it down. There are many types of pumpkins out there, so how do you know which is right for you? If you’re currently wearing your Ugg boots whilst sporting a comfy scarf and sipping from a Starbucks cup, you might be aware that it is, in fact, pumpkin season. Peel off that surface just as you would peel a carrot. Plus, many of these places understand the value of composting and will simply compost their unused produce, rather than throw it away like most supermarkets. It absolutely matters where you get your pumpkins! He also shares a trick he once gleaned from a customer. Pumpkins come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Get in the spinetingling spirit with a spot of pumpkin carving and whip up … Secondly, pick the right size: a larger one means … Another excellent pumpkin to consider for fall cooking and decorating is Cucurbita maxima. Carving tools Stencil ideas Pick a pumpkin How to carve Carve like a pro Pumpkin recipes Like an eerie mist, the spooky season is descending. If you’re not sure what size to go for, a football-sized pumpkin is a good place to start. Never carry your pumpkin by the stem. Clean the surface and the interior with a spray bottle of bleach solution (one teaspoon of bleach per one quart of water). Keep reading to find out what you should look for when you are searching at the pumpkin patch! When you pick up the pumpkin and tap on it listen for a hollow sound, that is the sound you want when you are looking for the best carving pumpkin. When cutting out the lid, angle the knife at 45 degrees. Do you plan to cook and eat the pumpkin? Odd-shaped pumpkins can have extra character which can make carving fun. Pumpkin Carving Stencils. This last one only applies to people who choose to carve and/or display their pumpkins; those who plan to just eat them probably needn’t worry. If it's heavy, that’s a good sign. A green stem indicates it was just harvested. It’s a fun fall activity, yes, but selecting one to suit your purposes is not as elementary as it appears. With Halloween around the corner, you want a good pumpkin for carving. Try to select a fresh pumpkin and one that is free from blemishes so that it lasts as long as possible. Fall means pumpkins! Here are tips and tricks to pick the best pumpkin for carving. If smaller children will be carrying the pumpkins, pick smaller one. Check that the stem is firm and secure, but never pick it up directly from the stem. Make sure to let it dry before carving. Pick a pumpkin with a firm, green stem. Pick a pumpkin from the patch. You’ll want to choose a pumpkin that feels … Recently, we've been getting other friends and family on board, teaching them how to carve their own fantastic-looking pumpkins, using stencils and basic tools. It should sound hollow and feel sturdy. Although it comes with a limited warranty, this will still get the job well done. Bring a sharp knife or pruner. Despite what you’ve been told, pumpkins are not vegetables at all, but rather fruits. This pumpkin is excellent for pies and very attractive as well, though not good for carving. The lighter the pumpkin's skin, the softer the pumpkin will be, thus the easier to carve. Consider these tips to help you pick a carving pumpkin: The ideal carving pumpkin should have a shell that is hard enough to protect the pumpkin but still allows you to get a knife through it. Finally, check to be sure the bottom is flat, so that it doesn’t roll. Scrapes, on the other hand, aren't as bad as wounds or soft spots when it comes to carving a pumpkin. Buying them from a farm also helps to support your local farmers, many of whom rely on this season to sell the bulk of their harvested crops. A pumpkin with a green stem is more likely to last longer. Many farms grow different types of heirloom pumpkins which come in strange shapes, colors, sizes, and textures. Sketch it with a tool. Vivid orange, ghostly white, or speckled green, might be just right. First, choose your pumpkin! Avoid picking it up by the stem though, as it can break off and make the pumpkin rot faster. 5. Carving pumpkins is a favorite Halloween tradition among all ages; however, with sharp knives and inexperienced carvers, this fun activity can quickly turn hazardous. Start drawing out your design with simple lines. You're going to want the walls of your pumpkin to be approximately 1"-3/4" thick. Here is a list of what you should look for when picking out a good pumpkin: 1. Think about the kind of design you want for your pumpkin. When you select a pumpkin, keep an eye out for gouges or blemishes. Pairing a wonderfully rhythmic read-aloud text with expressive retro illustrations, … And never carry your pumpkin by just the stem! 11 Vegan Thanksgiving Sides That Will Impress Everyone — Plus, Advice for the Holiday From Longtime Vegans, What the U.K.'s $2.1 Billion Farm Subsidy Redistribution Means for the Planet, A Plant-Based Diet May Reduce the Effects of the Coronavirus, Studies Show, Is Gum Made of Plastic? They can have deep ribs, bumpy skin, and mottled patterns. Check for consistent coloring around the whole … Most of these pumpkins are also edible, though “Sugar Pie” pumpkins are usually the best for pumpkin pie, as the name implies. Tis the season for pumpkin carving and when it comes to picking the right pumpkin, there are steps you can take to make sure you pick a winner! Make a clean workspace to do the carving in, and trace or draft your design on the side of the pumpkin before … Here’s how to make the perfect jack-o’-lantern. If it’s soft, bruised, or mushy anywhere, it’s beginning to rot, and it’s not going to make it to Halloween. Check the Stem. Follow the lines, carving beneath the line, digging out the feature. … The Halloween holiday inches ever more closely, and you might be looking for a way to supercharge the season with a classic activity that’s fun for all ages. Next, check out the pumpkin. Pumpkin carving is a fun Halloween tradition that's popular among both children and adults. The greener the stem is, the longer it will last as well. My wife usually does a few as well. Sometimes the taller ones will work better for carving instead of the traditional wider pumpkins. But basically, you have to choose a good pumpkin gourd. those little arms will get tired, long before reaching the car. They will usually be able to tell you which pumpkins are the best for carving and which will be best for cooking. 2. Larger pumpkins tend to give you more visual impact and are easier to carve details onto, so you may want to choose one that’s at least 10-15 pounds. Avoid pumpkins with shells that … A good pumpkin is the first step into ensuring that your pumpkins not only last but will be good for carving. These are often blue-green pumpkins, with deep sutures and a lovely, somewhat bumpy, texture. Luckily, you will realize that this knife can also perform other tasks in your kitchen. When picking a good pumpkin for carving, the trick is to find one that is sturdy, has a hollow sound to it, and a nice round base for displaying. Bleach kills mold and bacteria and can prevent spoiling. Use a bleach solution (about 2 to 3 tablespoons of bleach to 3 gallons of cold water) to thoroughly clean the pumpkin. Pumpkin Carving Tips . There are as many shapes and sizes of pumpkin as you can imagine and thus, your jack-o’-lantern can be any weird shape or size you want. A staple activity of the spooky season is pumpkin carving. The Valley's #1 Hit Music Station - Allentown, Easton, Bethlehem, The Valley's #1 Hit Music Station - Allentown, Easton, Bethlehem, B104 Bridal Showcase / Online Registration. Pick a Pumpkin and Print Your Template Any pumpkin that catches your eye is fair game for carving, regardless of size, shape or color. "You can free hand a very simple face — eyes, nose, mouth — especially if you're good at drawing. Pick it up and feel the weight. You could just grab whatever's at the grocery store, but you will find the selection at a pumpkin farm or a nursery far more robust than the junk pumpkins you’ll find sitting outside the Stop & Shop. Have a Good Handle A pumpkin must have a hard, dark green or black stem. Some are sweeter than others and make for better things like pies or pasties, others are more hearty and are better for stews or bakes. Jack O’Lantern Carving Tips. Are you carving it? Peel the pumpkin’s skin off where you want to carve a face. Most of these pumpkins are also edible, though “Sugar Pie” pumpkins are usually the best for pumpkin pie, as the name implies. Some crossbreeds have even been bred in recent years to have a rind that makes them more suited to detailed carving. Apply pressure: Flip the The best way to check for this is to ask the farm stand employees. Once carved give it a bleach bath. You'll be thankful for the nice, strong handle when you're lugging it back to the car. 2. Hold the pumpkin near your ear and tap on it to see if it sounds hollow. Don’t always pick a picture-perfect pumpkin. Don't just pick any pumpkin. First, you must determine why you need a pumpkin. For carving, Albert recommends a pumpkin that feels heavy for its size. Go choose and get a pumpkin Well hello, Captain Obvious! Use a large metal serving spoon or an ice cream scoop to scrape the insides. But there are some tricks you’ll need to know to get your carving just right. There are huge ones, tiny ones, tall ones, stumpy ones, and bumpy ones. 5. Armed with a piping-hot cup of pumpkin coffee or a latte, it’s a great way to get into the spirit with family and friends. The skin can help keep the carved pumpkin fresh for the holidays. Pick it up and tap it. Determining how you plan on using the pumpkin will help you decide what type or size of pumpkin to pick. Make sure the pumpkin has smooth skin and a good stem. Carve pumpkins too early (and … Submerge the pumpkin in the solution, or fill a spray bottle with a few teaspoons of bleach to a quart of water. A good pumpkin will have a slightly hollow sound when you tap it. Here are eight things you’ll want to have on hand to throw a great and successful Halloween pumpkin carving party. 1. Tall and lean or short and fat. Get their official bio, social pages & articles. Our pumpkin patch features 60 varieties of pumpkins for you and your kiddos to choose from. This is arguably the easiest step of the entire process, but does take a little bit of elbow grease. The best carving pumpkins will sound hollow inside, so tapping on the outside of your pumpkin will help you determine if the one you’re looking at is a good carving pumpkin. Look for bad spots: Try to choose a pumpkin without any scratches, bruises, or dark spots. An older pumpkin won’t last as long – but would be ideal if you’re carving it the day or two before Halloween. Normally, having a pumpkin carving knife that is a multi-purpose is a good idea. Once that stem breaks off, the pumpkin will start to decay even faster. Check the coloring: Choose one that has consistent coloring throughout. Make sure you pick a good pumpkin. You don’t want a wobbly one. When you tap it, you should hear a hollow sound. If it’s hollow, it’s ripe. You want at least 12 inches tall if you plan to put a candle in it. Exaggerate the features. Pick it up and tap it. The ones you find at a farm will also likely be in better shape than those that have been piled on top of one another weeks before autumn even arrived. In fact, expert carvers recommend … From pumpkin patch to smiling jack-o’-lantern, check out our favorite tips for keeping your carving sessions safe for all. First things first, you’ve got to pick the right pumpkin(s)! Want to know more about Josh Wolff? Tap the pumpkin gently and listen for a slightly hollow sound. This gives the lid a place to rest when you replace it so it won't fall through. Pumpkin picking isn’t an exact science either. For eating and for carving. Sessions safe for all, are n't as bad as wounds or spots. Avoid pumpkins with shells that … pick it up and tap on it to see if it sounds hollow perfect... Among both children and adults, angle the knife at 45 degrees,... 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2020 how to pick a good pumpkin for carving