Sometimes called the Jack-o’-Lantern, the carved-out pumpkin has a long history with Halloween and is considered an American import
However, the tradition of carving faces into vegetables, often turnips, has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a celebration that marked the end of summer and the beginning of the new year on November 1.
Picking your pumpkin!
Pumpkin picking has become increasingly popular over the past few years with many PYO farms now offering a pumpkin patch.
This can be a fun family day out with many places offering additional activities such as children’s crafts, maize mazes, seasonal trails and delicious autumnal food and drink.
Carving ideas and tips
Once you have picked your perfect pumpkin consider how to carve it!
- Try using an ice cream scoop to remove the pulp and some of the inner wall.
- Draw your design on paper or use a pre-drawn stencil. Tape to the front of your pumpkin and use a fork or pencil to poke holes along the lines and use as a guide when you carve.
- Use a rubber mallet or a hammer covered with a cloth and a cookie cutter to stamp out shapes such as stars, hearts or circles.
- Drill lots of small holes all over the pumpkin.
- Cut out windows and a door and create a Sweetie Shop; fill with sweets for trick or treaters.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on the inside of the lid for a pumpkin pie aroma.
- No-carve pumpkins – painted pumpkins can look fantastic and are great for younger children.
What to do with the left-over pumpkin
1000’s tonnes of pumpkin gets thrown away each year but Dairy Diary has lots of ideas of what to do with the scooped out pumpkin flesh and don’t forget the seeds; they can be cooked and enjoyed too!
Follow the links to our five favourite pumpkin recipes!
And don’t forget the wildlife
When you have finished with your carved pumpkin it can be filled with seed and hung up as a bird feeder or chopped up into chunks as a treat for local wildlife.
I look after communications and marketing at Dairy Diary. I’m a busy mum and love home baking and cooking for my family. In my spare time I enjoy visiting the theatre, eating out with friends and exploring the great outdoors!