The weather is cooling off and everyone is talking about pumpkin everything. It’s that time of year to start planning the perfect pumpkin carving party! If you are in the mood to make one happen, check out these great tips to help you make your carving party a memorable one.
Choose the best pumpkins
The perfect pumpkin for carving will be firm, solid in colour (not a lot of patches of differing colours), no marks in the outer layer (cuts or bruising), and will have at least 4 inches of stem that isn’t dried out. Tap or knock on the pumpkins and listen for a “thumping” type sound to show that it is solid and not rotted on the inside. These will all ensure that you get a pumpkin that will last as long as possible after carving.
Firm, uniform in colour, and free of cuts, bruises, and blemishes.
Plan the party close to Halloween
If you are carving the pumpkins for Halloween, plan the party within two weeks before the holiday to ensure they look their best on All Hallows Eve. Carving them too soon in advance can result in rotten jack-o-lanterns.
Prep the gourds
Before anyone arrives to your party, you should prep the pumpkins and gourds you want to use. Wash them in soap and water and pat them dry. Then cut the top off, scoop out the insides (save this mixture!) and place all your pumpkins on a table you will use for the carving. Make sure the table and floor around it are covered in old newspaper or something that makes it easy to clean up the pieces. Carving outside is also a great option. After you are done with the prep, place out any stencils and carving utensils, but make sure sharp objects are kept away from children. Then, separate any seeds from the inside goop, rinse them, and place them in a bowl. These will be used later.
This is a party and parties tend to have food. Provide Fall appropriate foods and seasonal favorites, like pumpkin pie, pumpkin spiced anything, caramel apples, hot apple cider, and (of course) roasted pumpkin seeds! Simple season the seeds you have set aside and toast them in the oven. Place them in brown paper bags and hand them out to guests when they arrive.
The pumpkins should be the centrepieces, the focal point. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t decorate further. Make your home look festive for Fall or even Halloween so that guests will be in the spirit for pumpkin carving.
Like the food, parties need music, so don’t skip this! As guests arrive, turn on the spooky Halloween sounds or tunes, or plat classic Halloween themed music to get people ready to carve up some jack-o-lanterns for the holiday.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!