Let’s face it, October is a whole month dedicated to everything and anything PUMPKIN! I am really not complaining but for those of you who aren’t as geared up for this season as I, let us help. From pumpkin spice to pumpkin fields, we have it all. Dive in, the Fall days are thinning out and the great pumpkin awaits!
Even for those less creative types it is easy peasy to head out to the local pumpkin patch to grab a few orange beauties, gourds, hay barrels and corn stalks to show your fall spirit has awakened. So after your trunk is full and covered in farm fresh bits of dirt and straw, take to lining them up outside, stacking and strewing your goodies for all to see.
Line your walkway for Trick or Treaters
Simple is good and you can’t go wrong with this idea. Lay out your field pickings with a few candles for ambiance and BAM, this is Halloween!
If you are lucky enough to have a mantel to adorn, do it with a pumpkin. Spider webs and bats are optional but a splash of orange among a few creepy crawlers can really get you in the mood for spooky season!
For the Yard
With the help of a mum or a few barrels of hay, this look is traditional and fun. On the front porch, out by the old oak tree or in a themed display, a pumpkin added to your yard is insta-fall!
Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice
Now we all know you absolutely, positively cannot say you have participated in the season without having something pumpkin flavored. So what are you waiting for?! Get in line at your nearest bakery or coffee shop and take the train to pumpkin spice town!
Pumpkin spice peeps, where you at?? Typically the line at Starbucks is far too long, so why not head over to the local hot spots for a sip of pumpkin spice heaven? The Flying Joe in Perrysburg, Sip in West Toledo, DeCapo in Temperance and Claro Coffee Bar or Rustbelt in Downtown Toledo are all top notch establishments ready to serve you!
The ever versatile pumpkin pie. This is a goodie you can take to any event and can be enjoyed after Halloween, into Thanksgiving and even at Christmas. So when in doubt, bring a pumpkin pie!
A personal favorite, the pumpkin seed. This leads us perfectly into my next section of carving a jack-o-lantern. So after you read through and have the pumpkin guts separated from those delicious little bits of heaven, also known as pumpkin seeds, why not take to roasting a few? My recipe is so easy you have no excuse! Simply rinse your seeds in a large bowl, strain, place a single layer of seeds on a baking sheet, salt to taste and roast at 300 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown (stirring occasionally). If you want to get fancy replace the salt with a light coating of cinnamon and sugar instead.
Pumpkin Carving & Decorating
There’s no better way to show off your creativity at Halloween than by carving a pumpkin! It can get a bit messy but the end results are well worth it. You can keep it simple or take to the internet for outlines and carving ideas that will prove a hit when the Trick or Treaters pass by your walk on Halloween night. Don’t forget the tea light candles to make them really shine!
Great if you have little ones! Get a few acrylic paints from your local art shop and let them add some color. It will keep your pumpkin stock fresh a bit longer and no messy pumpkin guts to sift through. Win, win!
Spin on the Traditional
When we say spin, we mean literally! Use a drill to make holes in your pumpkin, it is much easier than carving and you can quickly create all kinds of patterns. Adding the candle at the end will polish off the look.
Don’t Spoil a Good Thing
There are many tricks and tips out there to keep your personal pumpkin patch fresh as long as possible. Here are a few that we’ve tried. Feel free to drop your ideas in the comments! We’d love to hear any way to hold onto our fall decor a bit longer.
Be sure to handle this idea with care. After you completely remove the guts and seeds, mix a solution of one tablespoon of bleach per quart of water and wipe the inside of your pumpkin with it. The solution will kill bacteria, hopefully preventing the pumpkin from growing excess mold.
Cut from the Side
It is standard to start your pumpkin carving at the top. Removing the stem from a fruit or vegetable will cause it to decay faster. Instead, gut your pumpkin from the back or even the bottom, starting at the top will cause the rot to travel down throughout the pumpkin. Switching it up and carving from the bottom will keep moisture from collecting and the stem stays intact.
Layer of Protection
After you have your carving complete, take to adding a layer of protection to your artistic creation. Use petroleum jelly to coat the inside walls of your pumpkin as well as the edges that have been carved and exposed to the air. If you don’t have any petroleum jelly, try clear nail polish, olive oil, clear spray paint or even WD-40 to attempt to keep the rot away. Be careful when using anything flammable! Let everything dry in a well ventilated area and use a battery powered candle versus anything that requires a flame when you’re done.
Fall is only here for a moment, enjoy every second of it! Let us know your Pumpkin traditions, tips and tricks so we can add them to our to do list and keep them in our back pocket for next season. Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!!