Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Party... a fun tradition!

Dear Diary,

When life gives you pumpkins, throw a pumpkin carving party! That's what we do this time of year.  It has been a long standing tradition for my mother and father in law who host a big carving party.  For years, they have set up in the "shop" where there is plenty of space to spread out and get comfortable.  If some pumpkin guts get on the floor, no biggie!  Plus we have access to tools and props from the shop and anything is game for creating a pumpkin masterpiece.  Wire is always a helpful accessory.  Rubber tubing and spray paint is cool too!

2011-3_0

The only rule is that the littlest person in the family will be put into the biggest pumpkin (usually for a baby crying photo op).  Is that mean? nah... all in good fun. The past few years, the size of the pumpkins have gotten ridiculously big where now, everyone can basically have a turn inside a pumpkin.  The in-laws got to know a pumpkin farmer in the area and we've gone to the big pumpkin weigh off every year.  This year, they treated us to 3 really really really big ones and a giant watermelon as well.   We had 15 other odds and ends pumpkins.  The local grocery store has good size carving pumpkins for $6.50 (buy one get one free).

Now that I’ve had the honor of co-hostiong this event, I have some good tips for throwing a carving party.

Things you need:

Pumpkins (duh)

Tarps

Buckets for pumpkin guts

Tools for carving:

You might be able to get away with using kitchen knives and spoons but the kits that you can find at the store really work well.  They provide all size knives and scrapers (greatly needed) and hole punchers etc.  Since we are in the shop, we’ve been known to use power tools as well.

Food:

Pumpkin carving is hard work and we need fuel! This year we made some Halloween themed desserts. (monster feet from nutter butter cookies and cashews etc.)

Drink:

Cider is a must.  I also made a sangria and put into a frozen hand (I filled a rubber glove with water and put it in the freezer)

Music:

a must for every good party

Friends:

Come one, come all… from 2 months old to 85 years old… this is a family friendly party.  We encourage everyone to carve a pumpkin but if you are more the sit back and watch kind, feel free.

Games:

Eat a donut on a string (no hands), pop the balloon (no hands)

2011-2_0

2011_0

2011-1_0

Some tips for carving:

Design: Before you puncture the pumpkin, you must to have a plan. Find inspiration anywhere!  Do that thing that gets your ideas flowing… take a jog, surf the web, drink some coffee… the possibilities for your pumpkin design are endless.  What is your goal? Tradition? Precision? Shock and awe? Humor? Horror? Martha Stewart-ish?

Consider collaborating more than one pumpkin into your design (see cookie Monster!) and look for props to add to the pumpkin as well (look at the one with glasses on above).  Take a good look at the shape of your pumpkin to see if it inspires you.  Feel free to turn it around and upside down to see different shapes.

2011-4_0

There is nothing wrong with the traditional jack-o-lantern expression (triangle eyes and a big teethy smile) but why not challenge yourself? Go off the map. Try carving some special words- maybe your favorite “expression” (OMG or University logo). How about your favorite logo, animal or just cool carved pattern designs that will look cool when lit up (drill holes all over it).

Once you chose the design, you want to sketch it onto your pumpkin.  Make sure you know exactly what will be removed and what stays to achieve your desired look- color it in if that helps.  One technique we did this year was “scraping”.  (see the big teeth on the big pumpkin above)   For this technique, you are just scraping away the skin and then shaping the rind of the pumpkin.  If you are doing any big scraped parts, do the scraping before carving through, so that you can apply a lot of pressure without breaking off a part.

A big hole needs to be carved to clean out the pumpkin. Traditionally, it is a circle on the top around the stem but you can veer from that. Do it in any shape and in any location to suit your design. Think about where it will be displayed and what will make it stand up more easily.  Pop off the top and clean out the guts.  Scrape the inside so it is smooth and get past the really wet stuff otherwise it will mold faster inside.

Now carve away! Fixing mistakes…if you accidentally remove a chunk by accident, you can reaffix it with a couple of toothpicks. Have fun :)

21 comments:

  1. Man! This is awesome! I want to come next year with the girls!! I remember seeing this last year and I forgot to crash the party!! You guys are awesome and I am smiling at these adorable pictures!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate? Hi there, You have done a great job.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hello there and thanks in your information ? I've certainly picked up something new from right here. I did then again experience a few technical points the usage of this website, since I experienced to reload the website many instances previous to I may just get it to load correctly. I had been pondering if your web host is OK? Not that I'm complaining, however sluggish loading circumstances instances will sometimes affect your placement in google and could injury your high-quality rating if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Make sure you replace this again soon..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Normally I don't learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very great article.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's really a cool and useful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I simply couldn't leave your site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the usual information a person supply in your guests? Is gonna be back incessantly in order to investigate cross-check new posts

    ReplyDelete
  7. How do I log into your site and how can I get some of your slide shows to put on my comuter. I have one slide show on my old computer and I would like to put one on the new computer, thanks for your assistance. Jim Porter

    ReplyDelete
  8. Its like you read my mind! You appear to grasp a lot about this, such as you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you just can do with some percent to force the message home a bit, however instead of that, that is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Seriously, your post is quite amazing. I have to say that from now your blog will turn out to be one of my preferred. Maintain it likely good friend !

    ReplyDelete
  10. Technically that's not a "goatse" pumpkin since the rear is still closed.. but I'm not sure I'd want my child to walk by and see a goatse pumpkin anyway so that could be a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Generally I don't read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great article.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I will immediately grasp your rss as I can't to find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Our local grocery stores, Atlantic Super Store and Sobey's, do not carry the Calgon water softener (powder) anymore. I was wondering if it is still being manufactured or have the stores just stopped selling it. If it is still available, can you tell me where in my area I can get it. I live in the Dartmouth/Halifax area of Nova Scotia, CanadaThanks

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello there, simply was aware of your weblog thru Google, and located that it's truly informative. I'm going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate in the event you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My brother suggested I would possibly like this web site. He was totally right. This publish truly made my day. You cann't believe just how much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am really inspired together with your writing talents and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing, it's rare to see a nice weblog like this one today..

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really loved browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and come with approximately all significant infos. I'd like to peer extra posts like this .

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually recognize what you're talking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally consult with my site =). We could have a link exchange arrangement among us

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nice web content. I can't wait for to see through the remainder.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours these days, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It is pretty value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the net can be much more helpful than ever before.

    ReplyDelete