It's nearly Halloween, which means it's time to get out those pumpkins! In the spirit of our favourite spooky day, we've pulled together the best tips that will help you design and carve out a stunner. Halloween hasn't always been popular in Australia, but this year we are spending $1.5 million on pumpkins for Jack O' Lanterns…
The practice of carving lanterns for Halloween (then All Hallow's Eve) began in 19th century Ireland and Scotland, where turnips were hollowed out and carved with creepy faces. The faces were meant to resemble the spirits of supernatural beings or even souls in purgatory (jinkies! I think we'll stick with cute faces, thanks!)
Carnival Cruise Line carves 15 or more pumpkins for buffets and Halloween festivities – that's a lot of carving! We spoke to their Chief of Pumpkin Carving, Arvin Alikpala, to get their top tips:
- Pumpkin carving can take 30-40 minutes on average, so make sure you set aside the time!
- Any type of pumpkin can be used for carving, however, it should be fresh with a flat bottom and firm stem.
- Draw an image of what you would like the pumpkin to look like before starting.
- Pumpkin skin can be very hard so use a sharp kitchen knife to make the task easier.
- When carving with kids, let them scoop out the flesh, while parents should handle the sharp cuts (or supervise very closely).
- If your carved pumpkin is looking lifeless and wilted, soak it in cold water overnight to rehydrate.
How to carve a pumpkin perfectly
If you don't want to use a kitchen knife, Better Homes & Gardens sure know how to make pumpkin-carving easy using tools.
And, if you want to mix things up a little, you can join the latest trend – pineapple lanterns! We love the way the light shines through the veins of the fruit, giving it a cracked look.
Sydney-based Hannah Oakshott is a tea-obsessed pop culture enthusiast who can usually be found showing people pictures of her two miniature schnauzers or baking sweet, lemony food. Hannah is on Instagram @hannah.mareeee