Have you ever wondered where the carving of the pumpkin at Halloween originated from? Well wonder no more!
The Irish brought the legend with them during the huge migration to America in the early 1900's.
The story is told of a young spark of a man known as "Jack". Jack was determined he would not let Satan send him to Hell upon his death. Sly Jack then tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree and then would not let him down until he promised the young man he would not go to Hell when he died.
After living a rambunctious life, when Jack died he discovered Hell couldn't take him, and Heaven didn't want him. Satan took pity and gave Jack a burning ember to light his way through the eternal fog of wandering the earth. Jack put the ember in a turnip to provide the only warmth and guidance he would have for all eternity. Once the story came to the America, it became a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin rather than a turnip.
For 100's of years simple pumpkin carving has been one of the great American traditions. When it's time for your family to carve that pumpkin, here are 5 simple tips for pumpkin carving success
Tip 1: Choose the Right Pumpkin.
Michelangelo, in preparation for his next marble sculptured master piece would sit on a hill, quietly over looking the quarry for days, sometimes even weeks watching the laborers as they moved marble. He would watch, barely moving a muscle, visually studying each piece. Looking for just the right size, grain, and shape.
This is the way to shop for a pumpkin...of course, you wont' be taking weeks but you want to look for that perfect pumpkin. One without dents, scars or soft spots. One with the right grain, size and color.
Tip 2: Know What You Want To Carve
If you want to cut things up a notch away from the simple triage eyes and buck teeth face, browse the many websites that provide free pumpkin carving stencil downloads. Just type in "pumpkin stencils" in any search box, and watch what pops up. Once you know what you want to carve, Tip 1 will be easier.
Tip 3: Cut From The Bottom
Cutting the hole in the top of the pumpkin to remove the "guts" has been the standard but doesn't it make more sense to cut the hole from the bottom? This way the top won't sink into the pumpkin and it's much easier to place the pumpkin over a lit candle then doing the annual reach in and try not to get burned ritual.
Tip 4: Don't Carve To Early
There is nothing worse than a melting and molding pumpkin on your porch before those delightful Trick or Treaters arrive. Keep the pumpkin firm for a longer period of time by spraying the entire pumpkin inside and out, with a 1 to 5 mix of water and chlorine. Also, rub some petroleum jelly on the cuts to seal up the pumpkin pores to keep the moisture in. These simple steps will help slow down the decomposition process.
Tip 5: Change The Light
Use Christmas lights for illumination or flameless candles.
Instead of the ever so risky burning flame candle illumination. Flameless candles have the look and feel of a regular candle and are battery operated. Some come with remote controls, so you could place a pumpkin in those hard to reach places just once rather than having to climb up and down a ladder for daily lighting and extinguishing.
Christmas lights that come in greens, reds, and yellows can add a more ghoulish effect to your Jack-O-Lantern.
Both options are safer, wind resistant and worry free.
To complete your Halloween preparations, visit http://www.frugalhomedesign.com and order a No-Cost copy of Halloween Recipes and Party Decoration Ideas. It's a quick and easy down-loadable eBook packed with foaming drinks and gooey treats. Get your copy today!
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