Halloween prep

I’ve been busy getting all Halloweeny this week.  I kind of love Halloween.  Especially the pumpkins.  And the candy.  But mainly the pumpkins.

I’m not crafty.  When I was a kid, my grade seven teacher called me to her desk and said, “art isn’t your best subject, is it?”  Luckily, I haven’t let that small (and pretty accurate) comment haunt me into adulthood…

Anyway, although I’m not very good at (and generally don’t enjoy) art projects, that rule doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to Halloween.  The only “crafty” thing I have any patience for is pumpkin carving.

A few years ago, our street had a pumpkin carving contest.  I was pregnant with Littleman so, obviously, I had way too much time on my hands.  I decided to try the scraping technique (where you remove some of the pumpkin skin without slicing right through) and I carved a witch’s face.  It took about five hours and it turned out amazing.  I won the contest and, ever since, have loved carving my pumpkins for Halloween.

This year, we had lots of pumpkins to choose from.  D grew them at our farm and we ended up with a bunch of different shapes and sizes.  I spent yesterday’s morning nap time scooping out three pumpkins.  I hate scooping the gunk so I wanted to get it done well in advance.  Also, last year was my first time roasting pumpkin seeds and I knew I wanted to try again.  I had much better luck separating the seeds this year.

After I got the pumpkins cleaned out, I stuck them in our cold storage room so I could focus on the seeds.  I searched the internet for instructions and was annoyed to find that everyone seems to have a different temperature/time for roasting pumpkin seeds.  Since I had so many seeds, I decided to do a few separate batches so that I could try different techniques.  My best batch was coconut oil and Himalayan rock salt, roasted at 325 degrees farenheit for about 25 minutes (checking every 7-10 mins).  I also did one batch that I tossed in oil, salt, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce before roasting, which came out very tasty too.

With the seeds dealt with, it was time to switch my focus to carving my pumpkins.  I found a couple of simple ideas that wouldn’t take too much time.  They were less elaborate than I’ve done in the past, but I just didn’t have the time to commit to them this year.  I managed to get two done during Bo’s nap.  I saved the third pumpkin to carve with Littleman after daycare.

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I think we’re pretty much ready for the big day, aside from perhaps needing to buy one more box of candy.  It’s possible that I ate a bit too much of it this week…

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