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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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How to Carve the Perfect Pumpkin


Halloween is almost here, and what is a better way to celebrate than carving pumpkins? As Halloween approaches, people are carving and decorating with jack-o-lanterns. This holiday tradition has been around since 1867 and was created by Irish immigrants. Jack-o-lanterns were originally used with turnips and potatoes and the tradition was used to keep evil spirits away from their homes.

Aside from the background history, what are ways to carve the perfect pumpkin? Picking your pumpkin out is the most important part. You need one with a smooth surface so it sits up right and make sure it isn’t bumpy on the face so it’s easier to make your design.

Next, gut your pumpkin, cut off the top and scoop and scrape the pulp and seeds until you have a fully bare pumpkin on the inside. Your utensils matter, using metal scoops and a serrated knife works best, but try avoiding the tool kits because the tools will break easily.

The hardest part about carving your pumpkin is actually carving it so make sure to be safe because if you don’t use your utensils correctly you can hurt yourself. An easy tip is finding a stencil of your design and tracing it on your pumpkin. After your design is drawn carefully, carve along the lines using your serrated knife, taking breaks and taking your time can help make the process easier. Some traditional designs that are easy and fun are the basic jack-o-lantern, any type of emoji is cool, and if you really want an easy option, painting your pumpkin is a great choice as well. 

How do I keep my pumpkin without it rotting? Preserving your carved pumpkin can be hard but with these techniques it can make it easier for you. Using vinegar on your pumpkin will kill fungus and make it hard for mold to grow, and you can also use water and bleach to prevent mold as well. Applying Petroleum jelly to the outside, or vegetable oil will keep your pumpkin looking fresh. 

Make sure to Embrace your Halloween spirit and remember pumpkin carving isn’t about the results, it’s about the joy during the process but using these techniques can help you become a better carver.

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About the Contributor
Hope Smith, Staff Writer
Hope is a sophomore at San Marcos High school. She has been writing for the kings page since freshman year and is looking forward to journalism the rest of high school. Hope loves writing, swimming, and listening to music. Her favorite subject in school is english.
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