Pumpkin Carving 101

My childhood was far from conventional.

I went trick -or- treating with my uncle every year because my dad worked nights, 
I was a blue Care Bear two years in a row (not by choice)
and I had never carved a pumpkin

Enter motherhood.
Yeah, I know...
if you're a parent and want to know how to carve a pumpkin, 
or have experience, but wonder if someone has tricks and tips to share, look no more.

Here is :

Family Matters with Amber
Pumpkin Carving 101

  1. Do buy a large enough pumpkin which you can stick your hand into (because trust me, my kids weren't super eager to get their hands in there)
  2. Don't get your pumpkins too early (just like a Christmas Tree, pumpkins deteriorate -2 wks prior to Halloween is usually a good time frame)
  3. Have markers, pens, paints ready (not all children get the whole Jack O' Lantern thing; mine have tried everything on their pumpkins
  4. Buy a kit (like the one pictured) with cutters and a stencil book- they are cheap and fun- but...
  5. Keep a good steak knife handy, tablespoons, and buy a sturdy permanent cutter from someplace like Pampered Chef (because you'll probably end up tossing the kit-cutters out afterwards because they bend and break
  6. Do cut your pumpkin top off on an angle. My first time I cut around the top and stuck the cutter in straight up and down (not cool- because then the top slips into the pumpkin when you put it on!)
  7.  Don't let your kids pick too intricate of a design (remember #1)~ if you're like me with multiple kids, this could take a while
  8. Do get a recipe for cooking pumpkin seeds (just to say you're family has tried them)
  9. Use a string of clear holiday lights or battery powered candles to light them up if you're not crazy about flame candles (for more ideas on how to light up your Jack O' Lanterns click here)
  10. Clear the kitchen floor or front porch, spread out lots of newspaper, dress in old clothes and have a ball!
Pretty simple, I know, but I had no idea about any of this when I started out.

What pumpkin carving advice do you have?

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