October 12, 2013
There is a magical connection when when you find the perfect pumpkin. What one person rejects as ugly, too tall, too short, or too fat will be perfect for someone else. The best place to find a pumpkin is at a pumpkin farm! Most farms have many varieties in all different colors, shapes and sizes.
Carving Pumpkins – You will never go wrong with a Jack-O-Lantern variety for carving. They have stiff straight walls, fibrous flesh that can stand up to being carved, and hollow cavities perfect for holding candles.
Physical characteristics to look for when choosing a quality and fresh Jack-O-Lantern:
- Choose a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size.
- Choose a pumpkin that has consistent coloring throughout.
- Turn the pumpkin over and place pressure on the bottom with your thumbs. If it flexes or gives, your pumpkin is not fresh.
- Look for soft spots, mold, wrinkles or open cuts that would indicate damage or early spoilage.
- Choose a pumpkin with a solidly attached stem.
- A green stem indicates a freshly harvested pumpkin.
- Place your pumpkin on a flat surface to check to see if it will sit flat after being carved.
Painting Pumpkins – Orange Smoothie, Cotton Candy, and Lumina are all good varieties. They have especially smooth skin and shallow ribbing. They are good eating pumpkins, so be sure to use a non-toxic paint. You can eat them when you are through decorating.
Decorating with Pumpkins – There are a number of pumpkins that you can use to decorate with for the fall season, and then bake with for Thanksgiving. Add some gourds and Indian corn into the mix, and you can create a festive long lasting decorative display.