Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin carving 109: finishing touches

Happy Hallowe'en everyone! 

Last things for your jack 'o lanterns:
  • The lids of your pumpkins are excellent carriers for delicious smells.  My favourite thing to do with my jacks is to cut the lids up a bit so that I can rub cinnamon and nutmeg on them.  Once you have a few of these going with candles, your place will smell delicious.
  • When lighting your jack, use a votive-sized candle rather than a tea light.  The light is much stronger from a votive and they'll last longer through the night.
  • Remember that the more delicate the carving, the shorter the lifespan of your jack.  A basic triangle-eyed carving will last much longer than delicate lacing - depending where you live, they will either rot or dry out.  My general rule is to never carve earlier than 48 hours before Hallowe'en.
  • However, you can make them last longer depending on why they've gone bad:
    • If you live in a wet area and your pumpkins tend to rot: there are some great recipes out there for bleach solutions that you spray into your pumpkin and into the carving that kill the bacteria that make this happen. Google is your friend, for recipes. I don't do this for various reasons.  
    • If your pumpkin is more likely to dry out: you can try using either a really thick aerosol hairspray or vaseline to coat the interior edges of all your carvings to slow down the evaporation of the moisture from the jack.  Obviously wait until the hairspray dries before lighting up those candles ;)
  • Big groupings of similarly-themed jacks look great... 
  • To photograph your jack well, turn your camera flash off.  And get a tripod.
  • After the event, don't just trash those jacks! Depending on where you live, you might be able to take them to an after party.  For example, the Sorauren Park pumpkin parade wants your pumpkins!
And remember: never blow your jack o' lantern out before midnight, it's bad luck!

Pumpkin lid with some cuts for better cinnamon penetration...

The perfect incense burner...

Happy Hallowe'en!

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