Halloween is a good excuse to get creative with edible squashes, and it seems to have become perfectly socially acceptable to display your mangled food offerings with pride well into early December, to which I say “yay.”
I strongly believe that every Goth should carve themselves a something, even if that doesn’t involve a fully-blown giant pumpkin, but rather a small, cheaper squash to suit smaller abodes.
In this article, I’ll share a few tips on how to up your pumpkin game this year, and a few innovative photos of how other people have been meeting the challenge!
Tools of the trade
Carving pumpkins requires Stuff, and what form that stuff takes is up to you. Some really hardcore pumpkinites apparently use power tools, but if like me, you’re not allowed to play with motorised blades, set yourself up with a reasonably sharp knife, a large scoop, and some smaller knives and scissors for detailing work.
You can actually buy pumpkin carving kits now, ffs, which I view much in the same way as I do ready-made pancake batter; it’s a shaky bottle of flour, dudes. Sorry.
The most challenging part of pumpkin carving is getting your shell ready, and pumpkin skin is tougher than it looks. Decide whether you want to take the top, bottom or the back off the pumpkin first, and secure your veg accordingly. Getting the top with the stalk off is the most challenging option, as the stalk is very dense and fibrous, so you might prefer going for the bottom or back.
Use something like an ice cream scoop or large ladle to eviscerate your pumpkin; this is proper messy, btw, so be prepared.
The fun part is deciding on a design to work with, and the internet is nothing if not strong in this category. Some of my favourites include the offerings dotted throughout this post, and the internet-at-large has many more. Honorary mention to The Pumpkin Lady, who has over 700 designs up for grabs on her website.
Why do we even do this?
Surprisingly, this is a question that had not occurred to me before. The unexpected source of my definitive answer was Wales Online, which shares the full story of this tradition’s Irish origins, in the history of the original Jack o’ Lantern.
You learn something new every day!
Feel free to fill my mailbox with shots of your own attempts…