Apparently there was a class I was supposed to take for my Mom license that I missed? I must have been absent the day they held “Pumpkin Carving 101”. Or in the bathroom. Or just not paying attention. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen all of the intricate pumpkin design stuff that is so popular right now. Supposedly this stuff is easy to do. Especially if you shell out the money for a kit. It’s then supposed to be so easy an untrained monkey can do it! Nope, I don’t think so.
I had big plans for this year. I was going to have all kinds of pumpkins to play with this Halloween. We bought all the seeds for all the different pumpkins in our garden. We planted regular pumpkins, mini pumpkins, and the white pumpkins. I was going to do all of those Martha Stewart glittery and painted pumpkins just like you see in the magazines. Price: $0. Then we had the drought. This was also the year that Evil Genius decided that he was not going to let Mother Nature win. Or something like that. He outright refused to water the garden. We got the early stuff, and everything else died. Including our pumpkins. I was very sad. You may ask, why is someone who shuns most vegetables in charge of the garden? It is a very, very, very long story.
Anyway, long story short, pumpkins are expensive! Last year we bought one for each of us. They were almost $4 apiece. Luckily, Grandma helped out with the pumpkin purchasing. I was so horrified at the rising costs of living decor that I did not carve one pumpkin last year. However, after Halloween I scored two carveable fake pumpkins at Hobby Lobby for $2 each. Regularly $27. That’s like, 90% off or something?
This year I hauled the Halloween stuff up and right away Princess Difficult starts screaming “WE’RE GOING TO CARVE PUMPKINS! WE’RE GOING TO CARVE PUMPKINS!” She’s been after me ever since. So today we carved fake pumpkins.
I’ll admit, my carving skills are BAD. I’ve tried it with a big knife, pumpkin carving tools, and a couple of years ago even broke down and bought a kit because it was fairly cheap at Hobby Lobby. I suck. And I don’t really like doing it. No wonder I just wanted to paint pumpkins this year.
The First Attempt at Home Carving, October 2009: I had actually carved pumpkins at work before, and it was more of a thing to watch happen than a product to appreciate afterwards. The Professor had some issues with the actual process, so I hadn’t attempted it at home until my daughter was little. That was the year that he insisted we carve one. I reminded him that there were some guts in there. He was ok with that, but of course refused to touch anything. That was also the year that I had to find out if raw pumpkin was harmful, since my daughter ingested about half of the stuff that came out.
I found a spiderweb template, so I attempted to carve a spiderweb on the big pumpkin. If you look real closely in the picture, you can see that part of the web is actually missing due to my awesome carving skills. I decided a fly had gotten caught in it… The other two were my own attempts since we had so many pumpkins. They turned out ok. It wasn’t easy-pumpkins have thick skin. I guess that’s in case other vegetables make fun of them. Or is pumpkin a fruit? The one cool thing this particular year were the flameless tealights I had found-I had no idea they changed color. That added extra spook to our pumpkins.
The Carving Kit, October 2010: The next year we did not plant pumpkins. My son was all about the pumpkin carving that year, so we went to Fareway and bought pumpkins, courtesy of Grandma. I told him he was REQUIRED to touch the guts in some fashion (guess what, he didn’t). And as luck would have it, I found the carving kit just prior to the day we did our carving. I figured it wouldn’t take very long. HA! It took HOURS. I don’t care what it said on the package, that was not on the easy level. Most likely this is where he learned some of the cuss words that he got in trouble for at school. By the time I got done with his, I turned to his sister and said “You’re getting a kitty pumpkin.” Luckily she had forgotten all about the fact that she had picked one of the other templates in the pack. Cat-easy. Done in 20 minutes.
The House Without a Jack-o-Lantern, October 2011c: Last year we did not carve any pumpkins. Like I said, I wasn’t about to carve into something that cost that much. That and no one really seemed to care until Halloween anyway. We go trick or treating, it’s not like we have anything to show off. My husband is there, hiding in the dark. He hates Halloween. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Big Fakes, October 2012: This year I really have no excuse. We have the carveable fake pumpkins and plenty of stuff to carve them with. Me being me I had to try to think of something we could keep, well, FOREVER because pumpkins are so expensive. I scoured the internet trying to find something I can’t screw up. Princess Difficult finally settled on a celestial design. After lunch we did pumpkin #2, which was even less intricate since it was just a happy face. The Princess was delighted, and is hoarding all of the pieces that came out of the fake pumpkins. Did you know little kids are hoarders? At least mine are!
Now that the anxiety is kicking in I have one last thought-what is the toxicity of pumpkin foam dust? It’s everywhere-I hope we’re not all going to die of cancer due to breathing in “Funkin” dust!