How to make the perfect Hallowe’en lantern
PUBLISHED: 12:12 14 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:12 14 October 2014
Fancy having a go at carving a Hallowe’en pumpkin?
A jack-o’-lantern, or carved pumpkin, was originally named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, known as will-o’-the-wisp in English folklore. It’s thought that people have been carving vegetables in this way for over 10,000 years.
So how do you carve the perfect pumpkin?
Firstly, you need the perfect pumpkin. I like to use a medium sized pumpkin as they are less fiddly to cut into and have fairly loose flesh inside, which is easier to scoop out. It should also have a firm stem, which you will use as the handle of your lid.
Mark out your lid with a marker pen so you cut evenly all the way around. I like to leave a few triangular shapes cut out of the lid so that it sits easily on top. You will also need to carve a hole in the lid to allow heat from your tealight to escape and not burn the pumpkin flesh.
Next scoop out all the seeds and fibrous flesh – affectionately called ‘pumpkin guts’ in our house – using a large metal spoon. Try not to dig into the firm flesh too much or you might end up with a hole in your pumpkin.
Now you’re ready for the fun part – marking out your design. Here the only limit is your imagination! Either go for a design of your own or there are loads of templates available on the internet.
If you want to have a go and not worry about the mess come along to Alder Carr Farm’s Pumpkin Patch during October half term where there will be loads of Halloween activities to enjoy – see www.aldercarrfarm.co.uk for more details.