I'm sure there's a witty something or other that I could say about the sheer volume of this year's Halloween pumpkin of ours, it was absolutely mahooosive. Such girth! Such ripe, splendid, orange abundance! A right whopper! It was a gift to me from J, a surprise purchase from our lovely local farm shop - funny how he went to buy sausages and staggered back with this beauty, it did make me smile.
It's become something of a tradition for me to work my artistic skillz on the annual Halloween pumpkin (you might remember last year's offering?). I'm afraid I am completely selfish when it comes to this event and the poor Little People don't get much of a look in. As I do feel mildly guilty about my selfishness, this year I made the effort to encourage Little B to join in and help me. He enjoyed hovering about watching the process, but was surprisingly disgusted with the whole carving process.
He really couldn't get to grips with the pumpkin innards, he just screwed up his face and refused to engage. So I rolled up my sleeves and got down to the business of scraping out all by myself.
Oooo isn't this such a glorious colour? I love orange, so cheerful and optimistic.
Last week I spent rather a lot of time surfing the net searching for a great pumpkin carving design - there is a lot of inspiration out there if you are into this sort of thing. I looked at ghosts and ghouls, witches and bats, haunted houses and all manner of scary faces. In the end I settled for a cat's face, The Cheshire Cat to be more precise (lots of images here, if you feel a burning need to check it out).
I made a freehand drawing of the cat's face on a large piece of paper first, making sure it was the right size to fill my ginormous pumpkin. My method is then to place the paper on the surface of the pumpkin and draw over the lines very firmly with a ball point pen. This makes a faint but visible score-line on the surface of the pumpkin which you can then go over with the pen afterwards before beginning to cut.
I do my carving with a small, pointed, serrated kitchen knife and lots of patience. It's a slow process, but I really love doing stuff like this, kind of a childish pleasure in seeing a series of shapes and holes suddenly come together to form the design. A little bit of creative magic.
There is a wonderful kind of fidgety anticipation once the carving has been done, waiting for the daylight to fade and Lighting-Up-Time to arrive. I filled these hours helping the Little People with costumes and make-up ready for the evening's sweet-gathering mission.
I put six tea lights into my pumpkin lantern, and at 5 o'clock it was finally dark enough to light up............
The lit up design is so much better than the unlit version, I was rather stupidly proud of my efforts. I may have squealed a teensy bit. My Little People were suitably impressed, as were the many, many neighbourhood Little People who called by to Trick-or-Treat at our house. It should really be called Treat-or-Treat, we gave away a whole huge 750g tub of Cadburys Celebration chocolates to the steady stream of witches, zombies, warewolves, bats, cats, vampires and ghosts.
It was a fun evening, there was a great spirit on our streets with so many families making the effort to dress up their houses and their children. We partied with our neighbours (five family's with nine children in total), eating, drinking and making merry whilst trying to ration the sugar intake for our offspring after their treat-or-treating jaunt round the neighbouring streets.
Fun times xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx