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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Carving Pumpkins

I detest this particular festivity.

Conversely, Darrin loves it. He loves scooping out the pulp, separating and washing the seeds, and baking them while he carves the pumpkin. Therefore, if it happens on Halloween, it is exclusively Darrin's job.

This year Tabitha decided she was the most deprived child in the United States because her mother has never carved pumpkins with her. So Darrin took her shopping and he and Tabitha brought home two good-sized pumpkins and announced we would be carving them for Family Night.


I blame DJ. He has purchased his own jack-o-lantern fodder each year since he gained a disposable income and this year was no exception. Two weeks ago, his latest creation found its way into my house, inspiring Tabitha's deprivation complaint. Darrin was only too ready to find pumpkin-carving solidarity.

I took a break from work, made dinner and did not complain.

I also did not join the carving people.

Adam was intrigued. He and Darrin began scooping out the stubborn pulp. After thirty seconds Adam exclaimed, "There has to be a better way!"

Darrin assured him there was not. Adam tried an ice cream scoop, a melon baller, six different spoons, three sets of tongs, and my pastry blender before he conceded that Darrin's way was the best. They finished cleaning the pumpkins, then Darrin worked on the seeds while Tabitha and Adam designed their masterpieces. I wandered about the kitchen creating a new chocolate-type treat in order to avoid looking like I was dodging the pumpkin activity. I'm certain I fooled no one.

Tabitha marked a face on her pumpkin and began slashing. In moments it was clear that the intended face was going to become something different. She didn't care and continued hacking the squash.

Adam disappeared to his computer, searching for something unique. I followed him, vetoed several patterns, and finally said, "Just choose one--it's getting late." He chose one.

I finished the experimental chocolate treat and wandered into the pumpkin art studio which used to be my dining room. Tabitha was finished. Two gaping holes made huge eyes in her pumpkin, while the mouth curved across more than half the width. She was laughing. I left her to find a candle and joined Adam by his pumpkin. He had drawn an intricate design across the front, hollowed out some small holes for the eyes and a slim slashed mouth. He carefully finished carving the openings, then decided he wanted "teeth" (basically, he wanted to carve off the orange layer of the pumpkin skin, leaving the white part for jagged teeth). He couldn't figure out how to do it, however. Once again, a pile of my cooking utensils began to appear on the table--used once and discarded.

When Adam disappeared into the kitchen to search for yet another selection of possible pumpkin peelers, I took a discarded flat serrated knife, scored around one of the teeth, and began to remove the orange part. By the time Adam returned, I had finished the top teeth and was beginning the bottom row. He yelled at me to stop before I ruined his pumpkin, then watched for a moment, then collapsed into his chair, laughing, because he'd not even tried using the knife. I handed it to him. He grinned at me and handed it back, saying, "You finish. You're the genius."

I ignored his gibe and made twelve more teeth for him, removing a small portion of my own skin in the process.

This was Monday. Yesterday afternoon, Adam spent an hour posing his pumpkin and taking pictures. Eventually, he cut out two of the teeth so he could fit an apple in the mouth--more pictures, naturally. His next step in the scenario is to buy a miniature pumpkin, put it in the mouth and call it a cannibal.

I had no idea there was such endless fun connected with this activity...nor did I know Adam could be so easily entertained. He's never shown signs of this before. In the meantime, I'm still cleaning up the carving party aftermath. I'm quite certain I'll never find half my kitchen utensils. They've been eaten by the pumpkins.


  1. I love the pastry blender idea.

  2. Yeah--he's full of good ideas--some work better than others (remembering his idea to swallow coins to see how they'd come out...)

  3. Sometimes, Debbie, as you well know, it's the only way to survive being the mom. :-)