Thursday, 21 October 2010

Welcome Great Pumpkin

So I thought I'd try my hand at a little bit of Pumpkin carving today, getting in the mood for next week. Northern Ireland makes a much bigger deal of Halloween, certainly more than England anyway, for both children and adults, and I must admit that I'm really starting to get into the spirit of things. While I remember doing stuff for Halloween in primary school and of course trick or treating as a young kid, we never really made a big deal of it. You also couldn't get a pumpkin round our way for love nor money in the 80s, instead you had a turnip that had to be hollowed out using a Black and Decker power drill with a birthday candle stuck inside. It looked rubbish, went out easily (one year my dad just rammed a torch in there) and smelt like, well, turnip, so hardly the most exciting of stuff.

The Shugmeister was a little too young last year to warrant a big fuss - the truth be told he's probably not going to appreciate it all this year either - but we still made a little bit of effort, buying Munchkins and carving decorate shapes and patterns, putting tea lights in them and displaying them over the fireplace. They looked very cute, but didn't really last that long and you have to be careful as they can catch fire easily if they are a little too small.

This evening I thought I'd try out a small pumpkin as a test run, and because Sainsbury's didn't have any large ones when I was in earlier in the week. A quick Google and you can see just what can be achieved when you've a giant pumpkin, time on your hands and a little bit of inspiration. You can download some great free pumpkin stencils from a number of different sources, but if you're looking for something to suit young children, you can't really go wrong with out Disney's Family Fun site, which offers templates and decorating ideas.

I don't actually have a printer, so as I had to free hand it, I went for a simple Bat
Signal. It's now proudly displayed on my widow sill (I'll post a picture at a later date as my camera is charging), and I was able to make use of the pumpkin flesh by adapting an existing banana bread recipe. You can find details of it on Stuffed Crustie. As decorations go, you really can't ask for more than a pumpkin. It's multi functioning, and because its organic, it can be throw on the composter or into your food bin, meaning that waste in minimal. Tomorrow I'll be posting about some other fairly eco friendly decoration ideas, so keep an eye out for that, not to mention a couple more pumpkin based recipes. Next week I'll be stocking up on some giant pumpkins and doing a proper job of it.

Image: luigi diamanti /

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