In anticipation of three of our grandchildren visiting, I threw out a question on FaceBook about carving pumpkins. Is it too early? Any hints for a fun experience?
Here were some of the responses:
1. Put Vaseline on the raw edges where you make the cuts to help pumpkin last longer.
2. In the north we used to carve them a week or two before but now in Florida the day before. (Hmmm. We’re somewhere in the middle, but have had unusually cool weather.)
3. Buy the" kids pumpkin carving sets".
4. The rule is... keep it till it stinks then get another one...
5. We use Sharpies to decorate the pumpkins. Multiple colors, no rotting, then when we're done, I slice the pumpkins in half, bake them, puree the pulp, freeze it - and a year's worth of pumpkin bread and pie!
6. Paint the pumpkin with chalkboard paint & leave messages on them! Cute!
7. No Rules! Carve diem!!!
8. Do not trust the children with knives !*%@*!
9. Whatever you do . . . have fun!
Great advice, but my favorite was Carve Diem! Whatever strikes you, go for it. So go for it we did.
On Friday afternoon, with the help of Aunt Allison, we painted three small pumpkins. I provided the craft paint and the pumpkins. The six-year-old twin grandsons provided the inspiration and art. The two-year-old sister provided the mayhem – grabbing paintbrushes and peering over the top of the patio table to poke her fingers in the paint.
While they loved their painted pumpkins, the twins couldn’t wait for Papa Max to get home to help with the real deal – carving the two remaining pumpkins. I think it was the danger element – sharp objects and the “ick” factor. They were adamant, though, that the carved faces be traditional and “scary.” Baby sister delighted in sticking her fingers in the goo and telling us all repeatedly, “yucky!” And it’s entirely possible she consumed a few raw pumpkin seeds.
Thanks to Christi for suggesting the pumpkin carving tools. Wal-Mart to the rescue, and the little saws were perfect for small hands. I’m happy to report there was no blood shed, and we had two very happy boys when we were finished. The crowning moment – Papa Max shone the flashlight in the cavities for the spooky effect.
Here they are: the pumpkin artists and their creations!
CAFE: A gathering place. A place of refreshment.
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