- Holidays and Celebrations
Best Pumpkin Carving Kits
I confess I never had the fun experience of carving a pumpkin into a Jack O Lantern as a child. We just never thought of doing it in our household even though other people did. This year I have decided to change all this, not least because I grew an entire packet of pumpkin seeds over the summer, and now have over 60 pumpkins to sell, which won't be easy, so I may as well carve some of them out myself and make the pulp into one of my favourite soup recipes for a Spicy Curried Pumpkin Soup (yummy).
Now last year but one we had some friends over to camp by our fishing lake on Halloween night. It was a really spooky evening and our friends had brought two pumpkins with them that they had already carved out. I was really impressed, as instead of the usual Jack O Lantern face, they had bought a pumpkin carving stencil kit to carve out the pumpkins, and the end result was one pumpkin forming the 'Scream Mask' (as in the film) and the other pumpkin featuring a witch flying on a broomstick. These were not only different to the normal carved out pumpkin 'faces', but were really professional looking as well as being very unusual.
I was inspired by their efforts, (well I should say by 'her' efforts as her Husband simply watched her do them). Clearly this was something she not only enjoyed doing, but was also something that was very easy for anyone to achieve if they simply bought a pumpkin carving stencil kit. These kits come with the tools and often a choice of stencils so you can decide what one appeals to you for your own pumpkins.
I decided this was worth looking into further as I wanted to buy the best pumpkin carving tools I could afford, and also choose a really good stencil kit so I could impress the neighbour's children when they called round trick or treating (as they do every year).
Using the correct pumpkin carving tools does make it far easier to carve through the hard outer skin of the pumpkin, but if that is still too much work you might be surprised to realise you can actually buy battery operated pumpkin carving tools, so virtually no effort is required to create a masterpiece. This may sound a bit lazy, but honestly, why make the job any harder than it has to be, after all, if like me you have potentially a stack of pumpkins to use up you will want to carve them up as quick as possible. There could even be potential here for a 'once a year' small business, where you sell the pumpkins already carved out so the buyers just need to put their own candles into the pumpkin and put it on display. Meanwhile you can convert the pulp into a stack of pumpkin soup and sell it to local hotels or restaurants, or even just dish out cups of it to your visiting trick or treaters.
Whether you choose to buy your pumpkin carving kit from Amazon, Ebay or somewhere completely different, I am sure you will find a kit to suit you and capture your imagination. One thing that I don't need to remember, but you probably do, is to make sure you buy yourself a pumpkin or pumpkins well in advance of Halloween. They do sell out very quickly in the shops, and there is absolutely no point in having a fabulous pumpkin carving kit, stencils, patterns and all the up to date battery powered pumpkin carving tools, if you have neglected to buy a pumpkin to carve. Your kids will be disappointed and you will feel terribly guilty for letting them down. Of course you could also plan well ahead and grow your own pumpkins for Halloween if you have a garden area where you can grow them. Be warned though, they do take up a lot of space in your garden, and each plant really needs six feet of land all around it. Expect each plant to produce two or three good sized pumpkins, but if it starts to develop more fruits remove them so the plant can concentrate its energy on making the two or three fruits as big as possible.The other essential accessory of course is the candles to put inside the carved pumpkins. You will probably find the small tea-light candles the most practical to use, and several will easily fit inside an average pumpkin. Buy a bag of these if you can, as they will need replacing periodically throughout Halloween night (each tea light candle lasts about two hours).
Happy Halloween everyone.