Pumpkin Carving

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I love carving pumpkins!  This year I picked up 3 pumpkins at Safeway for only $3.99 each and got busy working on them.  It was a nice fall day so I had to grab a quick picture of the pre-carved pumpkins in our yard with some nice fall leaves around them.

fall pumpkins

I grabbed a cheap carving kit at the store to have a good scooping spoon and detail knives, along with two bowls from the kitchen; one bowl for pumpkin goop and the for pumpkin seeds.  I LOVE pumpkin seeds and will be sharing a couple recipes later this week.

Carving Pumpkins for Halloween

I opted to open each of my three pumpkins differently to have unique styles on each.  For the first one I opened up, I did a hole through the back of the pumpkin.  This is a great way to maximize carving space on the front.

Cut the back out of the pumpkin instead of the top

For my second pumpkin I opted for the traditional round cut top.

Carving Pumpkins

And for the last one I did a top cut as well, but more decorative and fun with a jagged pattern.

Zig-zag pumpkin top

I was able to get about 3.5-4 cups of pumpkin seeds from the three pumpkins and look forward to baking them up to eat!

pumpkin seeds

Ready for the end results?  Pumpkin number 1, glowing bright at night!  I used a stencil for all three this year to keep it simple.  This one was Alex’s favorite stencil from the batch…the skeleton face pumpkin:

Skull pumpkin

For the number 2 pumpkin I went with a fun twist on the traditional pumpkin face.  I really liked the eyes and little piggy nose.

Spooky face halloween pumpkin

And even cooler glowing at night with the candle shiny through the open mouth.

Spooky face pumpkin

And lastly, for pumpkin number 3 I went with the ghost and boo stencil. This one had a bit more detail and time into it, but it was my favorite of the batch.

Boo Ghost Pumpkin for Halloween

Especially when glowing at night.  I just loved how the candle light shines through and gives depth.

Boo Ghost Pumpkin

The one thing that I hate about carving pumpkins is how quickly they start to deteriorate.  Especially with the weather being pretty warm this year, I knew that there was little to no chance that these bad boys would last until Halloween.

Having fun carving pumpkins

So I decided to try a technique I saw on pinterest to make them last longer.  You can read more about it here, but basically it was dipping the pumpkin in a bath of water and bleach to kill the bacteria.

Preserving cut pumpkins

The remove it from the bath and set upside down to drain out and dry.  Next brush on a coating of vinegar, lemon juice and water to keep it fresh.  Unfortunately I did not find this to work all that great.  Within 2 days they were growing a ton of mold and attracting gnats like crazy, so I had to toss them out.

Saving carved pumpkin

But at least I was able to get a few good pictures before they fell apart. Maybe next year I will opt to carve up a foam pumpkin or two instead and just open up the fresh pumpkins after the holiday for their yummy seeds.

Halloween carved pumpkin

One last shot, and my favorite since you can see the bats on the window behind the pumpkins too.  Now, hopefully tonight I can finish the rest of our porch decorating and share it later this week!

Halloween carved pumpkins

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