What Are Some Fun Uses for Pumpkins?
The poor, poor pumpkin, the object of such ravenous adoration and the reluctant symbol of all things Halloween spooky. A cultivar of the squash plant, the pumpkin is native to North America and the centerpiece of our Oct. 31 celebrations.
While pumpkins are most commonly associated visually with Halloween festivities and the arrival of autumn, this large orange member of the Cucurbitaceae family is also a traditional part of Thanksgiving feasts in the United States.
Its culinary derivatives come in a variety of forms: pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice cupcakes, pumpkin swirl cheesecake, pumpkin tortelloni with sage and pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie flans, pumpkin-spice liqueur, pepitas and so much more.
While we at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club could add so much more to that yummy list, we will cease our salivating and return to the cornerstone of Halloween, the Great Pumpkin – specifically, how to make this fruit into something that looks really, really spooky, nifty and utterly cool. (By the way, for you trivia buffs, the pumpkin is actually a berry; other members of its fruit family include cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.)
Southern Living provides some zippy pumpkin-carving ideas that are sure to make neighbors, passersby and other Halloween creatures take notice:
- Go Nutty, In The Head: Go with a haphazard design. There isn’t anything wrong with going off the pumpkin-carving grid with polka dots and other craziness.
- What Are You Talking About? Create a message. Carve words. What do you want to say?
- Looney and Loopy: Carve outside the box. How about a star for an eye? Or the moon? Or a nose above the eyes?
- Hold Up The Pinkies, Please: How about going artsy? Spend time and create your own masterpiece.
- Jiminy Cricket! You can use a stencil to carve a silhouette. Maybe a cat or a face. How about a spooky tree?
- Build It and They Will Come: You need several pumpkins for this. Stack them on top of each other, kind of the snowman approach: the top one a face, the bottom one a jacket with buttons and a pocket. You can even add strips of pumpkin skin or cucumbers for hair and arms.
- Ha Cha Cha: Go Polynesian. Create a tiki design.
- No Spooks Allowed: Be Halloween different. Go with friendly faces. Big smiles, happy eyes.
- Do a Facial: Apply vegetable oil or petroleum jelly to the pumpkin’s outer skin with a paper towel to give that natural glow. (Your pumpkin will just love you for it.)
- What a Wreath-life: Buy some miniature pumpkins and make a pumpkin wreath.
- State Your Business: How about going with your state symbol: Florida, the sun as in the Sunshine State; South Carolina’s palmetto tree; maybe a Georgia peach.
- Please Mr. Postman: Look at the postcards. Carve a famous postcard image. How about the Empire State Building or the Notre Dame Cathedral.
- Small Thinking: Buy the little ones. A bunch of miniature ones would make your Halloween decorations look adorable.
- Hey Buddy, What’ll Ya Have? A half pumpkin, carved out and packed with ice, would make a cool (literally) container for keeping drinks chilly.
- Come On Baby, Light My Fire: Use lots of glowing pumpkins to create a brightly lit scenic scope.
- Down By The Bay: Put a fish bowl in a pumpkin with a hole in front cut out for that fishy look.
- Purty Please: Be beautiful. Carve out the image of a flower and add scents to make your pumpkin look pretty.
- Hairy Harry: Be a goofball. Turn your pumpkin on its side with the stem as a nose. Half-baked spaghetti makes wonderful – and wild – hair.