Whether you choose your pumpkin at a "pick
your own" farm or at the local market, always be
sure to look for a fresh, ripe, bright orange pumpkin with
no scars, cuts or bruises.
mind that your pumpkin will be on special Halloween display,
so it's worth it to pay a little more for a big pumpkin (hint:
really giant specimens are also much easier to carve).
what's a traditional jack-o-lantern without a proper stem? Look for
a strong, healthy stem with no signs of cracking or injury,
and always carry your pumpkin from the bottom to avoid breaking
your pumpkin on several layers of paper towels or old newspaper.
a sharp knife (kids should be sure to have a parent or other
adult supervise) to cut a circle around the top of the pumpkin.
Now here comes the gross part! Reach inside the pumpkin and
scoop out the stringy membrane and seeds onto the newspaper.
create your own favorite pumpkin face on a sheet of paper,
or print out an easy Halloween pumpkin
carving pattern. Center the design where you think best,
and tape it to the pumpkin. Trace the design outline by punching
through the paper with a sharp pencil, nail or pin.
the Perfect Pumpkin
the real fun begins!
a sharp knife - or a special pumpkin carving kit - (again,
adults should help supervise with this) carefully cut along
the dotted lines that you've made from the pattern. For the
best results, be sure to make clean & careful cuts completely
through the pumpkin "wall", then push out the pieces.
Stand back and admire your own hand-crafted jack-o-lantern!