Feel like getting creative for Halloween but still want to
keep things simple?
Who says pumpkins are only for making jack-o-lanterns? Sure, youve impressed many neighbors over the years by carving spooky patterns into the huge squash that you carefully chose at the market. This year, show off your skill and creativity by turning that orange object into something fun and useful. Weve included many DIY projects, most of which still involve taking a knife to the pumpkin (we know thats how you get your anger out) and letting the kids scoop out the icky insidesthe most fun part! Plus, weve got some delicious pumpkin recipes that are sure to be a hit at those fall-time festivities. (You mean pumpkin pie doesnt always come from a can?)
The first step is choosing the right pumpkin. For most of the projects, the pumpkin will be used as a container so it should stand upright without tilting. Unlike a carving pumpkin, it doesnt necessarily matter if the outside is bumpy or its not the perfect hue of orange; sometimes the imperfections make the finished product more of a conversation piece. Pick which pumpkin appeals to you.
If youre using the pumpkin to cook with, then the outside appearance doesnt matter, but there are different varieties that go best with certain pumpkin dishes. For instance, some varieties are sweeter and are used for pies, bread and best of all, pumpkin cheesecake! The ones with the smooth-textured flesh are great for soups, and even some pumpkin seeds are better for roasting than others.
Well go into more detail about which type of pumpkin goes best with which project. For now, its time to decide on a creation and start planning a party to show off your pumpkin pride.
No party is complete without festive beverages, and theyll need to be kept cold. Cut off the top third of a large pumpkin, and scoop out the insides. Fill with ice and bottled drinks, and youve got one cool cooler. Bonus points if you fill it with bottles of pumpkin beer!
PUMPKIN PLACE SETTINGS
A formal dinner or fall bridal shower requires designated seats, and what better way to adorn a place setting than by using ornamental pumpkins. Choose a Munchkin pumpkin or other miniature variety, making sure you have one for each guest. Mix and match colors and shapes or pick similar ones for a uniform look. Type or write each guests name on a small piece of paper, punch a hole on the end and use a fall colored ribbon to tie the names on the pumpkins.
Need a pot for those beautiful mums? Turn your pumpkin into a mumkin centerpiece by carving a hole in the top and scooping the insides. Using bamboo skewers or a screwdriver, poke several holes in the bottom of the pumpkin for the water to drain. Dont poke too manythis makes the pumpkin deteriorate quicker. Put a layer of soil at the bottom of the pumpkin, and insert your favorite fall flowers. Cover with dirt, and give flowers a good drink of water. If youre displaying your mum outside, make sure the temperatures stay 75 °F or below to keep your pumpkin in pristine condition. The best part is you can plant your flowerspumpkin container and allin the ground. The pumpkin will decompose, and depending on the type of mum you choose, you may be able to enjoy the same blooms next year!
CANDY BOWL PUMPKIN
Heres a simple project that will simply wow your trick-or-treaters. Select a large, wide pumpkin that can be filled with lots of goodies. Cut the top off and scrape the inside, making sure its smooth and clean. If you want, cover the inside with foil or saran wrap and fill your pumpkin with a variety of candy to pass out on Halloween night. Regular bowls are so last year!
PUMPKIN PALATE PLEASERS
Who says pumpkins are just for decoration? Click on these recipes below for a made-from-scratch way to add an extra dash of flavor to your Halloween.