Carving a pumpkin for Halloween sounds like an easy task, but over the years, I’ve realised that it’s more difficult than it looks.
First of all, you need to find that perfect pumpkin – not too small, not too big and if you want to use the pumpkin flesh for eating, making sure it’s not too light (if it’s too light, it usually means that it’s full of seeds).
Secondly, you need to use a good quality knife. It’s best to use sharp and serrated knife (the same you’d use for bread cutting) as this cut’s through the pumpkin easier than just a sharp knife with straight edge.
Once you have the right equipment and the perfect pumpkin, you can concentrate on starting to carve it.
Use a marker pen to indicate where you want to cut the top of the pumpkin. This is about 1/4 or 1/3 from the top of the pumpkin. If you are feeling brave you don’t have to mark it, but I usually find that I go slightly up or down when I’m going around and my cut doesn’t always meet at the end. And you don’t want to have a jagged edge.
Once you cut the top off, scoop out the seeds and pumpkin fibres and keep to one side. I always separate them and keep the pumpkin seeds to make sweet cinnamon pumpkin seeds or dry them to keep for later.
Draw your design of the scary (or not…) face on the pumpkin. You can be creative as much as you like! Pinterest is a great resource here and you can find some amazing designs to inspire you there!
When cutting out the design, always cut away from yourself to make sure that you don’t injure yourself. It’s also a good idea to have a rough tea towel under the pumpkin so that it doesn’t slide on the table or your kitchen counter top.
Once you are happy with your design, place a tealight candle (or two, depending on the size of your pumpkin), replace the pumpkin head/lid and place it somewhere where everyone will see it!