Monday, October 31, 2011

Jack-O-Lanterns and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Koda's, Keanna's, and Lukas's jack-o-lanterns.

Happy Halloween!!!  Tonight’s the night!  Our neighborhoods will be decorated and lit up with jack-o-lanterns!  How fun!  Our dad has already finished three grandkid-o-kins and just has two more to carve today.  (Click here to see last year’s, at the bottom of the post.)  We’ll be sure to post a photo of them tomorrow.

2009 grandkid-o-kins.  No April yet.

Robbie and I spent yesterday afternoon helping our kids carve their pumpkins.  I bought them at Raley’s for only $3 each!  And they’re huge!!  I don’t have pictures of the process—it was just too messy and too crazy.  We started by using a crayon to draw around the stem where we planned on cutting the top out.  Then they got to draw their design on the pumpkin, knowing that they could not go inside the circle.

Robbie and I scooped out the insides and Keanna separated out the seeds for roasting.  You can find our roasted pumpkin seed recipe here.  They are soooo yummy!  One tip that we didn’t mention:  to help separate the seeds from the strings, place it all in a large bowl or sink full of water.  The seeds will float and the strings will sink.  Squish the seeds between your fingers to separate them from the strings then skim the seeds off the top of the water.

Once all the pumpkins were cleaned out, we moved on to carving.  As much as the boys would love to carve their own jack-o-lanterns, Robbie and I still do the cutting for them.  Keanna carved almost all of hers this year.  My mom just helped her with the mouth.

There are a few ways you can extend the life of your jack-o-lantern.  The first is to store it in the fridge.  Of course, this takes up a lot of space.  You can also spray or rub all the cut surfaces with vinegar to discourage bacterial and fungal activity.  The third method is to apply a coat of petroleum jelly to the cut surfaces to prevent loss of moisture.  This is what our dad does on the faces of his pumpkins.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to see our dad’s 2011 grandkid-o-kins!  Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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