What’s the best way to carve a pumpkin? – The Morning Call

How do you carve a pumpkin?

Carving a jack-o’-lantern has been a Halloween tradition for more than 100 years. An Irish myth says when a man named Stingy Jack died, he wasn’t allowed into heaven or hell but was forced to roam the Earth for eternity. People in Ireland began carving the faces of fierce demons into turnips and put candles inside them to frighten away Jack’s wandering soul.

When they came to America, they started carving the much larger pumpkins that had ripened by the end of summer, just in time for All Hallow’s Eve. You can do your part to frighten Stingy Jack away this Halloween by carving a pumpkin of your own, but don’t forget spooky decorations and pumpkin-spiced foods and drinks.

Choosing a pumpkin

Choosing a design

Decide what kind of face you want to put on your jack-o’-lantern. There are some excellent books on how to carve pumpkins into great designs.

Carving your pumpkin

Draw and cut

Draw the design you want on the outside of the pumpkin with a pencil or marker, then follow the lines to make your cuts. Classic carving usually starts with getting the biggest knife in the house, usually a chef’s knife or a butcher knife with a long, thick, straight blade.

Take the top off

Cut a hole in the top with the stem at the center. Make it wide enough that you can reach your hand inside. After you’ve had the “cap” fall into your pumpkin, you will learn to cut the top at an angle so it fits snugly when you replace it instead of falling through the hole.

Scoop out the innards

Jack-o’-lanterns have hollow insides where you traditionally place a candle. To turn a pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern, use your hand to scoop out most of the meat and seeds and set them aside. Then continue to hollow out your pumpkin by scraping away the soft interior with a large kitchen spoon, leaving only the firm rind.

Seal it

If you coat all the cut edges with petroleum jelly, your pumpkin stays fresh longer.

Light it up

What else can you carve?

What you need to buy for carving pumpkins

Jack O Pattern Pumpkin Carving Stencils

You get 50 templates for turning your pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns. Kids 10 and younger can choose ghosts and zombies, bats, cats, owls, spiders, skeletons, vampires and more.

7Felicity Professional Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit ]

This nine-piece set comes with stainless steel saws, knives, scraper, scoop, loops, drills and etching tools, all with sure-grip rubber handles in a zippered carrying case. These are sharp tools for adults and not toys for small kids.

Outus 60-Piece Halloween Pumpkin Face Stickers

The little ones who aren’t allowed to use knives aren’t left out when you give them this kit with eyes, eyebrows, noses and mouths. Even the littlest kids can mix and match these non-toxic, self-adhesive and waterproof stickers to create their own jack-o’-lanterns.

Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit ]

You hold this keyless quick-change variable-speed electric drill like a pen, using any of the 140 pieces that come in a hard-sided case to drill and cut intricate shapes with ease, at speeds from 8,000 to 30,000 revolutions per minute.

Homemory Orange Flameless Tea Light Candles

The flickering flames on these 24 votive candles are actually LED lights that replicate the look and feel of real candles, without the mess and the smoke. They come with on/off switches and CR2032 batteries that last for more than 150 hours.

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. What’s the best way to carve a pumpkin? – The Morning Call

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