The Halloween pumpkin, also known as Jack-o-lantern, is a good Halloween tradition. There are different varieties of pumpkins but the famous and widely use is the Orange Smoothie or in the Philippines it is a squash. They are fairly small and most weigh less than 5 pounds. The flesh is edible and can be baked when you are through decorating. The story of the Jack-o-lantern is an Irish Folklore about a man that tricked the Devil twice. Unfortunately, he was left in the everlasting darkness after his death. He had not been nice enough for heaven, and the Devil was so mad at Jack after being tricked, that he would not let him in. The only thing the Devil would let him is a coal, that he put into a turnip. So I will give you the steps on how to make a Halloween pumpkin. You don’t need to be very skilled in order to make your own Jack-o-lantern, but it takes time to carve a pumpkin. But it is worth the effort, and let trick-or-treaters know you will open the doors for them. The inside of the pumpkin can be turned into good food.
- Buy a large pumpkin in any shape that you like. The larger the better. It should be fresh.
- Draw a circle on the top of the pumpkin around the stem. This is to mark the hole to be cut. Make sure the opening is large enough to let your hand go through it.
- Cut the opening carefully with a sharp knife. Hold the knife in a 45 degree angle, to make the top as nicely cut as possible. The round part that you cut off the pumpkin is supposed to work as a lid on top of the Jack-o-lantern after the carving is done.
- Scoop out the seeds and the pulp from the inside with a large spoon. Save the seeds. They are excellent snacks.
- Clean the pumpkin well. To make the pumpkin hold a little bit longer, the pumpkin can be soaked in a solution of water and bleach for a couple of hours. Use a very small amount of bleach.
- Draw a funny face on the surface of the pumpkin. The more inexperienced you are, the easier the face should be. Use a thick felt-tip pen. Make the face details large enough as this makes it more easy to cut the face right and gets the proportions of the face vs. the pumpkin right. A small face will not get the same effect.
- Cut according to the drawings right through the pumpkin.
- Place a candle inside the Jack-o-lantern. When lit, the top of the pumpkin should be opened up.
For first timers, you can search in the internet some patterns to follow.