For many of us, the month of October welcomes a cool breeze and the sight and smell of Halloween pumpkins. Whether you create spooky jack-o-lanterns or serve up pumpkin pie and toasted seeds, Halloween pumpkins bring hours of family entertainment, add a creative touch to your fall décor and make for a tasty snack.
Bring on the Jack-o-lantern
Whether you’re five or fifty, there’s something magical about a flickering jack-o-lantern that makes your heart race a bit. No, it’s not just for the kids! It’s Halloween and almost every door step has a spooky, glowing face peeking out through a carved pumpkin. While the jack-o-lantern traditionally captures images of creepy ghosts and goblins, in modern times, it’s hip to get creative with something else. In fact, pumpkin craft is becoming more sophisticated, with complex designs featuring political figures, sports stars even celebrities.
Nevertheless, as part of the Halloween tradition, carving the family pumpkin can provide hours of family fun and doesn’t cost much more than a few dollars. Remember, even if you’re not willing to carve the pumpkin, you can still have fun decorating a face with acrylic paints or markers. This is a great alternative for families with small children who are not interested in using tools. Even if you choose to keep the craft easy, plan your design ahead of time and get your materials together before you start. Visit Uncle Luke’s Feed Store to pick out the best pumpkins for your creation and add interest by mixing different sizes. Two small and one large or two medium and a small will add depth to your carvings when placed together.
Pumpkin Seeds Anyone?
There’s never any wasting with Halloween pumpkins because there’s always something to bake or toast. Pumpkin seeds make a great snack for the kids and are perfect when paired with chocolate chips, raisins and pretzels for a tasty Halloween trail mix. Besides, when you’re carving your pumpkins, you have to do something with all those seeds. Make it easy and separate the seeds from the pulp when it is still moist and easy to deal with. Pumpkin dries quickly. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you carve your pumpkin before deciding to separate the seeds.
After separating, soak the seeds in very cold water. This step helps clean them and removes any of the pulp that is still remaining. It may be helpful to rub them between your hands to remove any tough strings. Dry your seeds in a strainer for about thirty minutes or if you’re in a rush, you can pat them dry with a paper towel. When they’re dry, you can season them in several different ways. A little salt on a cookie sheet is pretty simple. However, for a more festive taste, try seasoning with a pinch of ginger, some allspice and a dash of cinnamon. You may add butter, although it’s not necessary. Bake in a preheated 250 degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes and that’s it! It’s that easy. Plus, don’t forget that pumpkins make terrific pie, cookies, bread and anything else you’d like to add a little October zing to.
Have fun with your Halloween pumpkins. Remember, whether you decide to carve them into scary Jack-o-lanterns or bake a delicious pumpkin pie, you will always have some tasty seeds to snack on at the end of the day. Enjoy your holiday and don’t forget to visit Uncle Luke’s Feed store for the best selection in Halloween pumpkins.