One of the best things about prepping for Halloween is the carving of the pumpkin! An annual event to mark the celebration of the Eve of All Hallows, where ghouls and ghosts, witches and warlocks, and perhaps the odd vampire or zombie, may come calling.
We’re gonna give you all the tips and tricks to carving the perfect pumpkin while also throwing in some Halloween trivia for good measure!
A pumpkin lantern is an essential decoration! Thought to be originally derived from the turnip lantern carried by a mischievous thief called Jack, who is thought to have captured the Devil, only letting Satan go when he promised Jack he would not steal his soul. Many years later, Jack passed away a penniless man who could not get into Heaven because of his many bad deeds in life and wasn’t allowed into Hell because of his pact with the Devil. So poor Jack’s spirit wandered in limbo, clutching a turnip lantern, looking for a place to rest.
Turnip lanterns would have been traditional for carving around this time of year in Ireland, until the introduction of pumpkins in more modern times. Pumpkins are way easier to carve. Simply take a very sharp knife, and make zig zag cuts around the stalk end of the pumpkin, all the way round. Pull on the stalk to remove the cut piece, which will be the lid. Scoop out the seeds and as much flesh as possible from the insides of the pumpkin.
Save the flesh for a wholesome soup or pumpkin pie.
Use the sharp knife to cut a scary face – being as creative as you want to be! We have seen some pretty terrific works of art carved from pumpkins for Halloween.
When you’ve carved your masterpiece, pop a tea light into the empty cavity. Light your light, replace the lid, and your pumpkin lantern is ready to cast its eerie orange glow into the dark on Halloween night!
Want to show off your excellent pumpkin carving skills? Make sure to tag @goodfoodireland when you’re posting your pumpkins on social media!