Oh My Gourd

One of the most time-sensitive tasks involved for Halloween preparations, excluding possibly making a costume, is carving pumpkins. It’s always so difficult to find the perfect space of free time that isn’t so distant from the appointed date that it would rot or become a feast for some lucky critter. I always try to hold off until about a week or so before hand, but I remember that last year was so crazed, I ended up carving my pumpkin the day before the holiday in a very rushed effort. Trying to prevent that from reoccuring again, I decided that it was now or never, and prepared myself for battle the other day.

This year, we bought our large orange gourds earlier in the month from Trader Joe’s for $5 a piece. I had wanted to pick them fresh from the local farm, but how could I pass up a deal like that, especially for such plump, solid pumpkins? Besides, I don’t think I would have been able to drag one of equal size all the way across the vast fields without dropping my prize and possibly crushing a toe.

Anyways, I had been planning to copy some sort of skull design unearthed from the abundant stencils found online, but after finally wrestling the stem and top free of my canvas, I discovered that my pumpkin had a thicker head than even our president. Believe me, I was quite impressed. No way was any intricate design going into my veggie of steel. Although carving, sculpting, or modeling of any sort are undoubtedly my weakest areas of craft, I decided to just slice in and wing it without any prepared stencil. So with absolutely zero skill or finesse whatsoever, the destruction began.

Hacking and sawing violently, pieces were were flyiing all over the kitchen. To my vague horror, I noticed the my dog was doing her part to clean up by eating the approximate 5 lbs of raw pumpkin I had extracted thus far. She’s definitely a very food-focused hound, but I never would have guessed that she would have any interest in consuming raw pumpkin! Still, thankful nonetheless for her help, it wasn’t long before my crude carving was completed.

Inspired by a passing comment made by my dad, my theme could be describe as something like “pumpkin torture.” It’s certainly no work of art, but it sure did help get my frustrations out and was a whole lot of fun at the same time. This poor guy should probably stock up on the asprin though, considering the massive headache and tooth ache he must be experiencing…

And of course, my mom has to show me up with her crazy artistic talent by replicating a design on the cover of a fall events pamplet from New York that she was impressed with. Hers did take more time though, so she’s certainly worked hard for her creation.

It’s still not entirely done though, as she plans on fully carving out the eyes completely before she’s ready to put it out on the front steps for trick -or-treaters to admire.

Oh, and lest I forget, one of the best parts about all of this pumpkin destruction has got to be the copious amount of seeds that they produced. 250 degrees on a lightly greased pan until crisp and browned, nothing store bought ever could beat that. The extra bits of pumpkin guts are really the tastiest part, after all.