A smooth and evenly colored one is absolutely perfect. It should have a flat
bottom and should be able to sit upright. If you have very small children who want
to lend a hand this year in carving, pick a lighter-colored, and softer pumpkin to
make their first attempts a bit easier.
With handy marker in hand, you lightly
trace your design or run one off on the computer as a pattern. You could also play "connect the dots" and then cut.
Then the fun begins - you cut, saw, and push and pull and there you have it - the perfect "this year's" sensational
You should really scrape away
the pulp until the area you plan to carve is 1" thick. Hold your saw like a pencil
and saw steadily up and down, just like a sewing machine. Don't use saws to cut
the lid, or twist, bend or jab.
Two things happen to pumpkins once you
cut them. They dry out and shrivel or they mold. Not good! To protect, cover the carved
areas with plastic wrap, if not using a candle, or with vaseline. Should the
worst happen and that pumpkin shrivels, don't despair. Soak it in water for 6-8 hours. Use a bucket
or bathtub. Let it drain and then dry it very carefully.
Come Halloween night your pumpkin will
be the highlight of your outdoor decor and
your artistic talent will shine! For easier lighting, cut the "lid" from the
bottom and fit the pumpkin over the light, instead of reaching in. A whole lot easier
and safer --
The Great Pumpkin will be watching so do
yourself proud! ENJOY!
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2003 October