There are three things that i’m doing differently this year…
1) Buying pumpkins early so I can actually do some pumpkin carving on the actual day rather than running around like a headless chicken trying to find the large orange balls of goodness, from shops which have long sold out!
2) Teeth and ‘advanced’ carving: well, advanced for me anyway! I used a craft knife to slice off the outer orange layer to reveal the whiter areas underneath and also the teeth lines looked quite good.
3) We’re going to really try to use the pumpkin after Halloween for cooking, such as crisps, soups, chips, chutney, juicing even. I’ve lost track of the number of pumpkins i’ve seen around the town which are just rotting and dead outside people’s houses.
We managed to get 3 very pale and small pumpkins from the allotment! Not sure what happened there, whether it was the very damp season with limited light or the variety?! In preparation for the carving I stuck post it note faces on the little guys, which the boys loved – Jac especially liked that!
So, it turned out well and I now have two large bowls of pumpkin pieces for the freezer and can’t wait to start experimenting : )
I was talking to Jamie the other day about the seasons and how it’s coming up to Autumn, which would then turn to winter. I asked what he was looking forward to about Winter (trying to put a positive spin on things!). It took him about a second to say Christmas!
We started to go through all of the reasons why winter is actually a pretty good season.
Log fires: One of my favourites. This year, I worked out how much wood we used from the previous year and ordered that much in early spring. It’s all been chopped and stacked since April and we should have enough to last till March 2012. Log fires are awesome and really raise the spirits on a crap winter day.
Jamie and Jac were loving coming down from having a bath and standing in front of the stove while getting dry. Jamie even asked me about getting the fire lit in the middle of summer so he could do that.
Insulated render: Now we’ve got the whole side and most of the rear of the house insulated, as well as the loft hatch re-done, the heat we do make by the radiators and stove should be kept in the house for longer. We’ve also had new windows front and back which has already made a difference. This should make the cold weather easier to live with.
The boys birthdays: Jamie’s 5th at the end of October then Jac’s 3rd at the end of January. Always lots of fun and breaks up the season each side of Christmas.
Halloween: Lots of potential for fun and excitement, as well as creative ideas for making things. Walking around with spooky lanterns and torches in the garden. Pumpkin pie (using pumpkins from the allotment – not this year but hopefully next!) and ales. Yum.
Claire’s birthday: Last but certainly not least. The middle of February signals the approach of Spring and brighter and warmer times. A good way to finish off the season!
Lots of cool pumpkin making going on for Halloween. My sister + partner were over on the day, following the bumper family weekend for Jamie’s birthday. So, we got stuck into a few orange beats and ended up with some good results!
I really liked Jamie’s pen-enhanced pumpkin – it reminds me of the Joker from Dark Knight! My sister helped him hollow it out and cut the features out. Love the way it enhances the dirty/scary face. Edward created a detailed cat, stars and letters one and there was some effective detail on the cat’s face.
I cut loads of vertical slashes around the pumpkin with a single eye and mouth. There was a slightly mouldy part to it as well but the pics have come out well and show the half light coming through quite well.
Both the boys loved the whole thing and was something different to create.