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Amelia Islander

How to Pick a Pumpkin

Oct 27, 2014 02:00AM
Halloween is just days away, and this is the perfect time to purchase and carve your pumpkin. Overzealous pumpkin carvers, who purchase pumpkins weeks before Halloween, risk the chance that their pumpkin will become soft and lackluster. Here are a few tips for choosing and carving the perfect pumpkin:

Select a healthy pumpkin. When you're choosing a pumpkin, try to pick one that's free of nicks, bruises, and cuts. Look for a sturdy stem that doesn't feel too bendable, and for mostly consistent color all the way around. Knock or thump on the skin like you would a melon; if you hear a hollow sound, the pumpkin is ripe.

Pick the size you need. If you're planning on an elaborate pumpkin carving, note that a larger gourd means more work. If you have kids and simply plan on drawing faces on your pumpkins with permanent marker, try picking up several small to medium samples for them to put different designs on.

A battery operated tea light (or 3 or 4) is safer than a candle and will do less damage to the inside of your pumpkin. And if you carve your pumpkin a day or so before Halloween, you can always use your leftover pumpkin to make pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup. Smaller pumpkins work better for this. Happy Halloween!