Carving a good looking pumpkin is an arduous task! One that I obviously have yet to master. But, while I may not be an expert pumpkin carver, I can share with you some awesome tips that will make carving your pumpkins easier and will hopefully help them last longer too.
First off: Instead of cutting a hole in the top of the pumpkin, take it out of the bottom (and discard, you won’t be able to tell). This is a whole new concept for me. And I love it! It makes the design of the pumpkin look much cleaner. And it’s easier for candle lighting. Just light your candle and place the pumpkin on top of it.
Next: If you have one, use a metal ice cream scoop to scrape out the guts. It’s more powerful than the plastic shovels that come in carving kits. Be sure to keep the seeds for toasting!
If you use the nail hole method for transferring your pattern from paper to pumpkin, sprinkle a little bit of flour across the holes. It makes seeing them a bit easier!
Now onto preserving your nicely carved jack-o-lantern. I am experimenting with these next tips that I found here.
Soak your pumpkin in a sink or bath of cold water. I added some ice to make it extra cold and then let it sit for about 2 hours.
After drying your pumpkin, apply petroleum jelly onto all cut parts. This will supposedly prevent moisture from escaping.
And finally, to keep your pumpkin moist, spray it daily with a mixture of water and a few drops of bleach.
To test these preservation tips, I carved another pumpkin but didn’t soak or put petroleum jelly on it. We will see which holds up better!
Results-The Preservation Tips Worked!
At day 3, the pumpkin on the right was starting to show signs of aging. The teeth had started to bend back, but there was no mold growing yet. While the one on the left still looked great.
Day 7 was when I decided to throw out the pumpkin who’s teeth had strangely malformed. There was also a lot of mold growing. Pumpkin on the left was starting to show signs of growing old, but no mold yet.
The pumpkin I did all the preservation tips to got dumped on Day 14, moldy and shriveled. So, the soaking, spraying, and rubbing, bought it an extra week. Worth the extra work to preserve or not?