As Halloween approaches, the pick-your-own farms are doing double time selling carving pumpkins for the spooky do-it-your-self artists. Last weekend, I took my family to our local pumpkin patch and came home with 20 of the orange behemoths, ready to carve. In the past, we had prided ourselves on the most unique freehand design, and we do still do that, but we also have fun using imaginative patterns to top our neighbors.
The Best Pumpkin Carving Tools
For the past three years, we’ve been using Pumpkin Master kits. Not only are the tools inexpensive, priced at around $8-$15 depending on the kit, but they are sturdy and varied enough to allow for even the most intricate cuts. Once the season is over, we sterilize them, and store then away for next year. We have quite a collection so far! For example, the $8 kit we ordered from Amazon came with 2 kid-safe carving knives, a punch tool, a scoop, and a scoring tool. Not are these tools sturdy, but they are designed to be held in a child’s hand, making carving an fun experience, not a frustrating one. Each package also comes with a full-sized booklet of patterns, so we don’t need to surf the web for designs if we don’t want to. The designs are kid friendly, and once applied, incredibly simple to follow.
Other kits are designed for special purposes, from large parties with doubles of the tools for easy sharing, punch-pattern kits, and even a special kit for surface carving, where you just cut away the rind to let the white flesh shine through. Incredible!
Family Friendly Customer Support
Pumpkin Master is an American, family company with wonderful customer service values. Their website is designed to be as customer-friendly as possible, but has plenty of free goodies as well, from patterns to recipes, to even iPad apps. They also host video how-to segments, and a creative carving contest where the grand prize winner gets $5000, and individual category prizes are $1000. If you purchase a Pumpkin Master kit from any retail store, even from Wal-Mart, you can reach out to customer service for a replacement piece if it’s available. Try getting that from a cheap, overseas product!
Last Minute Tips For Halloween Pumpkin Fun
We have always been happy with our end results, and never forget to save the seeds for cinnamon sugar roasted pumpkin seeds as a delicious fall treat. Rich in iron, there are countless recipes for making these, as well as storing them for the year ahead.
As a last tip, try this to keep your pumpkins lasting longer as they adorned your front stoop. Once carved, use a spray bottle with household bleach to spritz both the insides and outsides of your pumpkin creations. This will eliminate any nasty bacteria left behind, and keep your pumpkins looking freshly-carved for nearly twice the display time!
Have yourself a Happy Halloween!