As we celebrate a socially distanced Halloween this year, pumpkin carving is one spooky activity we can still partake in. You can even host distanced outdoor carving parties to create your jack-o-lantern among friends. One challenge when it comes to pumpkin carving, especially if you live somewhere hot or humid, is getting your masterpiece to last until the actual holiday. Here are some tips to keep your pumpkin perky and fresh until the end of the month.
- Choose a good pumpkin. Choose one free of bruises and blemishes and shop locally to ensure your pumpkin is as fresh as possible. As an added bonus, you’ll be supporting local growers and cutting down on the carbon footprint of your decorative gourd.
- Wash your pumpkin. Before carving, wash the exterior of your pumpkin with soap and water to get rid of any bacteria that may be lurking on the surface.
- Clean out the inside thoroughly. Once you get the seeds out to roast for a delicious snack, make sure to carve the inside of the pumpkin out completely to get rid of any strings that could add extra moisture to your jack-o-lantern.
- Consider silica packets. If you have any extra silica packets laying around from a pair of new shoes or snack bag, you can place them inside the pumpkin to reduce moisture. Just make sure you remove the packets before lighting any candles.
- Treat cut edges. Wiping down cut edges with vegetable oil will help preserve the carving and reduce decay. Be sure to NOT use a real candle inside your pumpkin if you treat it with oil.
- Place it in a safe spot. Display your pumpkin away from rain and direct sunlight that could speed up the decomposition rate. If you’re truly committed you can even put small pumpkins in the fridge at night.
We’ve all experienced the dismay at carving a beautiful pumpkin only to have its edges sag and collect mold before Halloween. Keep your beautiful creations pristine this year with these solutions for a healthy and long-lasting jack-o-lantern.