Rules
Terms of Use

Topic Options
#324835 - Sun Oct 01 2006 07:12 PM Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
A few months ago Moo (where is she? ) gave me lots of tips for carving a pumpkin out. I know I'm too early for Halloween but in the greengrocers the other day this pumpkin just leapt out at me plus we don't really do Halloween here anyway so it doesn't really matter.

I've started doing one and it's a lot harder than I thought - either you have softer pumpkins in the US or you take your fun really serioulsy!

I have a question: do you just take the mushy stuff out or as much of the actual hard stuff too?


Edited by Copago (Sun Oct 01 2006 07:15 PM)

Top
#324836 - Sun Oct 01 2006 07:21 PM Re: Pumkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14830
Loc: Western Canada
Take out as much of the mushy stuff as comes out easily - you don't want too many little strings hanging down as they will scorch in the candle flame and smell bad. I wouldn't bother taking out any of the hard stuff -it's very difficult to do, and doesn't gain you anything. I find a sharp, small bladed knife like a paring knife is best for carving - you don't want to use a big butcher knife, too hard to control.

I don't know if your pumpkin was expensive enough that you don't want to experiment - they're really cheap here so we play around with them, make goofy faces, add props, etc. Probably best to draw your pattern on it with a pencil before you start cutting.

Also, how big is it? The really big ones are harder to carve - I would say the biggest I would bother carving is about the size of a basketball. Soccer ball (football) size is about right, I figure.

Save the seeds and toast them - I know there are seed toasting recipes here somewhere, from last year.

Top
#324837 - Sun Oct 01 2006 07:33 PM Re: Pumkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
lothruin Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
Posts: 2165
Loc: Nebraska USA
I like the bigger ones, myself. And I find that serated knives make the big cuts the best, then you can smooth out the edges with a sharp knife after the big chunks are gone. And don't forget to save and wash the pumpkin seeds. Then you lay them out on a cookie sheet with butter and salt and roast them until they're dry and crunchy. (Don't want them to be brown.) You just eat them whole, no shelling required. They're really tastey!
_________________________
Goodbye Ruth & Betty, my beautiful grandmothers.
Betty Kuzara 1921 - April 5, 2008
Ruth Kellison 1925 - Dec 27, 2007

Top
#324838 - Sun Oct 01 2006 07:36 PM Re: Pumkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
Thanks Agony *goes and puts big knife away*

It is about the size of a basketball, I guess, maybe a little bigger. Weighs 7kg and was $1 a kg.

Right, all the mushy stuff gone now to work on a face.

(posted at the same time: thnks Loth too )


Edited by Copago (Sun Oct 01 2006 07:37 PM)

Top
#324839 - Sun Oct 01 2006 08:00 PM Re: Pumkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14830
Loc: Western Canada
Here's a picture of an old, standard one we did, (mostly to test if I can get a picture to appear here)

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c350/Bashzog/Iconpic.jpg

Top
#324840 - Sun Oct 01 2006 08:10 PM Re: Pumpkin Carving - So This Is Meant To Be Fun?
Engadine Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Aug 08 2004
Posts: 3609
Loc: Sth East Qld Australia      
Big LOL at Copago!

As a child we lived on an Army Base and had visiting military from the States, so one Halloween they threw a huge party with carved Jack O' Lanterns, a Haunted House, Bobbing for Apples etc, it was great!

But as we don't 'do' Halloween Down Under, you musta been really bored huh, Copago?

Apparently tho' our pumpkins are rather different to the US varieties, whether we have more varieties I'm not sure, but we certainly seem to offer more for sale through our grocers (so my resident US friend tells me, US pumpkins are just orange, inside and out, and oh my, they buy pumpkin in a can to make pumpkin pie! [Flo would never cop that for her famous Pumpkin Scones ]).

Ours include: Queensland Blue (green-grey skin), Jap (mottled yellow and green skin), Jarrahdale (ribbed silver-tinged skin), Butternut (pear-shaped), Golden Nugget . . .

NB: Hey Copago, they sell Pumpkin Carving Kits in the States!
_________________________
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy!

Top
#324841 - Sun Oct 01 2006 08:12 PM Re: Pumkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
hehe cute photo! See we don't have orange pumpkins they're more blueish. I'll post a pic when it's done

Top
#324842 - Sun Oct 01 2006 08:45 PM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
lol - something like that, Engadine


So here he is, my very first jack-o-lantern. Have changed the candles cause one of them was too big and was burning teh top of it. Oooops.

lights on

lights off


Edited by Copago (Sun Oct 01 2006 08:45 PM)

Top
#324843 - Sun Oct 01 2006 08:47 PM Re: Pumkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14830
Loc: Western Canada
Looks like you've got the proper eerie effect - you're right, your pumpkins don't look much like ours....

Top
#324844 - Sun Oct 01 2006 08:49 PM Re: Pumkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
MotherGoose Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Apr 22 2002
Posts: 4818
Loc: Western Australia
"either you have softer pumpkins in the US or you take your fun really serioulsy!"

Copago, you are right. American pumpkins are much, much softer than ours.

Halloween is Maynooth's favourite holiday and we are having a big party for it this year. We've already warned the neighbours but they are used to our eccentricities anyway.

Maynooth has been busy for weeks making "props" for the party out of cardboard - tombstones, coffins, skeletons, etc. But even Maynooth doesn't attempt jack-o'-lanterns with real pumpkins.
_________________________
Don't say "I can't" ... say " I haven't learned how, yet." (Reg Bolton)

Top
#324845 - Sun Oct 01 2006 09:26 PM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
Well, I'm glad they're softer because I was wondering how it would be such the family activity that it seems to be. Seemed to be only asking for trouble if you let a kid with a knife near a Qld blue.

The party sounds great, MG! Sometimes it's like the adults have more fun than the kids at these kind of things

Lothruin? For the toasting the seeds - when you say the butter, do you just put a couple of nobs on the tray and let it melt around them or do you have to sort of coat them all?

Am going to make a pumpkin soup too and toss out the bit of mush with some of the seeds and maybe in the next rain they will grow, give the rest of the mush to the chooks and voila! Nothing wasted.

Now to fill in the rest of the day!


Edited by Copago (Sun Oct 01 2006 09:27 PM)

Top
#324846 - Mon Oct 02 2006 02:31 AM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Engadine Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Aug 08 2004
Posts: 3609
Loc: Sth East Qld Australia      
Wow, great job Copago! You must have found a chainsaw came in very handy for that effort!
_________________________
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy!

Top
#324847 - Mon Oct 02 2006 03:56 AM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
ren33 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 12413
Loc: Kowloon Tong  Hong Kong      
Yes... The Copago Chain Saw massacre...
_________________________
Wandering aimlessly through FT since 1999.

Top
#324848 - Mon Oct 02 2006 07:39 AM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
lothruin Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
Posts: 2165
Loc: Nebraska USA
I usually just plop some butter on the tray and then put them in at around 200 F, but then as the butter melts I stir them around so they get coated. So, yes to both, it's the easy way. Let the roasting do the work of melting the butter for you.
_________________________
Goodbye Ruth & Betty, my beautiful grandmothers.
Betty Kuzara 1921 - April 5, 2008
Ruth Kellison 1925 - Dec 27, 2007

Top
#324849 - Mon Oct 02 2006 09:11 AM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18792
Loc: California USA
I used to carve them over in France and at first they had the harder variety. I know now that yours must have been a dangerous procedure Jilly. The rind is very hard on those pumpkins.

I am kind of well known in my neighborhood for doing curvy shapes and though I do a few classics with triangular eyes, last year I had to use up about five pumpkins. I did an amazed look and that one was the favorite.

The ladies stopping by asked me if I'd do theirs next year, but we've moved since then.
Scooping out all the seeds like that is a royal pain, but if you don't they tend to rot in about two days.

I think the people who have the hardest time are the ones who really have a set pattern in their minds, and stencil it, and then, the knife changes that pattern. I go with the flow and if the knife slips, I just change the expression.

My parents trained us to use knives and tools very early, because I remember doing this activity very early on, ten years old perhaps.

Pumpkin seeds taste really good with olive oil and herbs. I do mine like that.

In Austria, where ARnold comes from, they have a speciality there of greenish pumpkin seeds and oil from the seeds, called, kurbis ol. (put an umlaut on the o.)
They put a bowl of them in your hotel room and sell the oil at all the farms.
_________________________
I was born under a wandering star.

Top
#324850 - Mon Oct 02 2006 10:34 AM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Jar Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Apr 11 2001
Posts: 4224
Loc: Texas USA
This site has lots of good information (including the history) for carving our pumpkins.Pumpkin Carving 101

Some carvings can get quite detailed. Details

And in recent years people have started to simply paint faces on their pumpkins. Painted Faces
Mine, of course, would be painted with simple lines!

I have made pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin, but it is so much easier to use the canned stuff. Oh, and I made butternut squash for dinner last night!
_________________________
If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.
-Dale Carnegie

Top
#324851 - Mon Oct 02 2006 11:00 AM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
JaneMarple Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Fri Jan 30 2004
Posts: 14480
Loc: North West of England
The nearest I ever got to a pumpkin was a turnip each year. But Dad always carved a funny face on it and put a candle inside it
_________________________
My mind is like a parachute...it functions only when open.

Top
#324852 - Fri Oct 13 2006 09:06 AM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
lady1 Offline
Champion Poster

Registered: Wed Jun 07 2006
Posts: 20697
Loc: Gauteng South Africa          
Nice looking jack-o-latern Copago but you realy dont need such a big candle. It looks a lot better than my first attempt. I realy hated taking out the mushy bit in the middle.
_________________________
"If Life Were Easy Where Would All The Adventure Be?"

Top
#324853 - Fri Oct 13 2006 01:50 PM Re: Pumpkin carving - so this is meant to be fun?
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
LOL they were the only candles I had

He is still going - I put him in the fridge during the day and pull him out for a bit for my son at night and light him and we wave a couple of sparklers about and back in the fridge he goes. Getting a bit wrinkled around the cut bits but he may even make Halloween yet.

Top

Moderator:  ren33, sue943