If you are wondering "what on Earth is Jamie on about now?" then you haven't read my previous blog posting, Halloween Conversion, which tells the story of why Pammy and I are now celebrating Halloween in our own little way. It has a lot to do with happy memories of an incredible journey together for us of course, but we now 'get' Halloween, having seen it done so wonderfully well in the US last year.
Nevertheless, the story picks up at Woolies supermarket, where they're selling genuine Jack-o-Lantern easy-carve pumpkins this year, and this candidate for brain surgery cost me just $8.
|The perfect carving pumpkin, thinnish skinned,|
semi-hollow inside, shaped like a head,
the famous Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin.
|Like brain surgery, pumpkin carving can get messy, so I|
laid out the Saturday Business Section of the Herald – finally
I have found a use for the Business pages!
|After the boning knife makes a small cut, in goes the saw,|
to make a big enough lid for my hand to fit into the pumpkin,
for scooping out all the seeds, innards and brains.
|Here's a handy tip: cut the lid with the saw blade at an angle, not|
straight up and down, so there's no risk of the lid falling into
the middle of the pumpkin itself.
|Inside the Jack-O-Lantern is a pitiful sight, mostly seeds and|
stringy fibres and nothing much else. A bit icky, in fact.
|This is what I call the 'batterie de scoop', for scooping out|
the seeds and fibres. As it turned out I used my hands a lot
but the big spoon and the teaspoon did help to get the job done.
|This is the total contents of the inside of|
Jack's head. Mostly seeds (which I later washed,
dried then sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled
with garlic salt, and roasted at 140°C for 25
minutes as a pre-dinner snack. OK, not great).
|Total time to complete the cleaning of the innards was about|
20 minutes to half an hour.
|Wiping out with paper towels probably helps.|
|Put the lid back on and brain surgery part 1 is complete,|
just like real brain surgery.
|We then left the pumpkin and lid to dry until the carving,|
which we did with our friends Paul and Jolanda and their
gorgeous little five-year-old daughter, Elina, who came
around to have dinner at our place last night.
|I am especially thrilled with the lid, it actually fits!|
|To carve the face, first Pammy used a biro|
to draw the eyes, nose and gap-toothed smile.
|Then it was back to the "might come in handy one day" saw|
to carefully cut out the shapes. After cutting we pushed each
shape from the inside, so it popped out.
|The saw made this job very easy, but at the end|
there were still lots of stringy dags left over.
|It took as long to finally tidy up the dags as it took to carve|
the eyes, nose and smile. Pammy did a superb job, such neat work!