Have Fun - Happy Halloween!

Professional food sculptor Nancy Maurer shares tips for carving pumpkins.

· Instead of carving chunks out of a pumpkin, use a round wood chisel to remove the outer skin of a pumpkin. The yellow rind will glow nicely once the candle has been placed inside the pumpkin...

· Pumpkin carving is best done in the garage to avoid messing up the house.

Figure A
Figure B
Figure C
Figure D

· Use an ice-cream spade to scrape out the inside of the pumpkin. The flat edge works well for scraping.

· Before carving the face, draw a design on a sheet of paper and tape that to the pumpkin (figure A). Follow along the design with a nail or pin and punch holes in the pumpkin, scoring the design into the pumpkin (figure B).

· Draw a face on the pumpkin with a non-permanent marker so that the lines will wipe off with a damp paper towel.

· Use a ripe pumpkin that's free of bruises, cuts and nicks.

· When cutting the hole for the top, leave one square notch in the back so it can be easily placed back on the pumpkin.

· Make sure that the hole in the top of the pumpkin is large enough for your hands to easily fit inside to remove seeds and other pumpkin matter.

· Cut a second hole in the bottom to make removing the seeds easier.

· After carving, coat the cut edges with petroleum jelly. This will slow the pumpkin's dehydration process and keep the jack-o'-lantern smiling longer.

· Small saw blades designed specifically for carving pumpkins are available. They have a jagged edge and are safer than a kitchen knife (figure C). Pumpkin-carving knives are available at most grocery and discount stores in the fall.

· Place a votive candle in a small glass jar, such as a large-size baby food jar, and put the jar inside the pumpkin (figure D). This will protect the flame when the breeze blows as well as prevent the candle from tipping over and becoming hazardous.

Article from: www.hgtv.com