Carving a pumpkin for Halloween?
Then you’ll love these two recipes, which use pumpkin flesh and seeds, so nothing goes to waste.
You will find fun pumpkin carving tips below plus discover the origins of Halloween. Enjoy.
These creepy brownie bars are the perfect offering for Trick or Treaters who may come calling on Thursday.
All three recipes are from the Dairy Diary.
The iconic Dairy Diary 2020 is an A5, week-to-view diary featuring weekly inspirational recipes. Practical and pretty, it’s the perfect 2020 diary for planning your busy life.
For more recipes and/or to order your copy for just £8.75 click here.
Pumpkin carving fun with your children
Sketch your pattern on paper to suit the size and shape of your pumpkin. If you’re not artistic, use a stencil or template.
Make the lid by drawing a 125mm (5″) circle on the top. Cut out the lid with the saw/blade at an angle – leaning slightly to the outside – this will stop the lid dropping inside. Remove the lid and clean its base.
For a carving tool, we recommend a pumpkin saw. If you’re using a knife (small and sharp) carve gently and steadily, making a few gentle strokes for each cut.
The kids can remove the inside – they love this slimy job and can easily remove all the seeds and mushy stuff. Then you can takeover scraping with a spoon or ice-cream scoop. Thin walls make carving easier, but don’t make them too thin or the pumpkin will collapse. Make the base inside flat to accommodate a candle.
Apply your pattern by copying freehand onto the clean, dry pumpkin with a marker/pen/pencil or tape your paper pattern to the pumpkin and mark the design by poking holes through the pattern.
Let’s carve – adults only if you’re using a knife! Carefully begin at the centre of your pattern and work outward – small shapes first. The kids can push out the shapes as you go. Lastly ensure the pumpkin sits stably without danger of rolling.
Light up – place a tea-light in the base. Ensure the candle is level and carefully light it. Always extinguish the candle when leaving the room.
The origins of Halloween
The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.*
Until 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived across the lands we now know as Britain, Ireland and northern France. Essentially a farming and agricultural people, the Pre-Christian Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons and Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter. The festival symbolised the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.
It was believed by the Celts that on the night of 31st October, ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village in order to ward off any evil spirits that may also be at large.
The night or evening of Samhain became known as All-hallows-even then Hallow Eve, still later Hallowe’en and then of course Halloween.
A special time of the year when many believe that the spirit world can make contact with the physical world, a night when magic is at its most potent.
Throughout Britain, Halloween has traditionally been celebrated by children’s games such as bobbing for apples in containers full of water, telling ghost stories and the carving of faces into hollowed-out vegetables such as swedes and turnips. These faces would usually be illuminated from within by a candle, the lanterns displayed on window sills to ward off any evil spirits. The current use of pumpkins is a relatively modern innovation imported from the United States.