For decades, at this time of year I’ve battled away with carving turnips into basic lanterns.
And while the turnip flesh gets recycled into soup, stews or mashed neeps, uncooked it’s a tough, unwieldy vegetable where you’re as likely to remove a finger as you are create a hollow to contain a candle.
So I have to admit to a sense of relief at the gradual importing of the culture of Halloween pumpkins from the US. They are infinitely easier to carve and, as I’m beginning to find out, offer greater versatility.
For the past couple of Halloweens I’ve just done the 3 triangles for eyes & nose and some kind of squiggle for a mouth, but this year I discovered you can create a secondary layer of pumpkin carving by removing the outer skin, but not all the way through the flesh.
Of course the Americans and Canadians have known this for centuries, but here in the Ayres household it has come as something of a revelation.
Although my first attempt at this style of carving is not going to win any prizes, at least the kids were thrilled with it, which is all that matters. I’ll leave the super fancy ones until next year.
Personally I felt quite smug about carving a self-referential pumpkin on the pumkin...