Pumpkin Carving 101

I was invited to attend MOMPower this week sponsored by TXU Energy.
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Several fellow bloggers met at Central Market in Dallas for amazing food prepared by the cooking school and a few pumpkin carving tips from professional pumpkin carver, Mathew McIntosh.  After we carved our masterpieces, TXU Energy gave us some energy efficient Dot Its to light them up.  I love the Dot It!  So much safer than a candle, and it still creates such a beautiful glow inside your pumpkin.  Here’s a crash course in pumpkin carving that I found very helpful for my first time…

1.Cut the top off the pumpkin using a small saw.  Be sure to cut at an angle and make a little notch so it’s easy to line it up when you put the top on.  Gut your pumpkin after cutting the top off.  (Thankfully this step was already done for us!)

2.Find your pattern and tape it to your pumpkin.  You can either create your own or print one out.  There’s also kits that have some templates.  If it’s too big, simply downsize it to fit on your pumpkin.

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3.Use a toothpick, small knitting needle, or pointed object from your carving kit to poke holes along the lines of your pattern.  After all your holes are poked, take your pattern off the pumpkin.  If desired, you can then put some flour on the pumpkin to make the holes show up better.

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4.Take your carving tool and begin carving starting from the pieces in the middle and working your way out.  Make sure you cut all the way through and cut straight, not at an angle.  If you cut at an angle, the piece won’t pop out.

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5.After you’re finished carving, use your tool to trim any excess parts.  Put your LED Dot It light in and proudly display your art!

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Another fun way to decorate your pumpkin is to simply take some metal cookie cutters and, using a hammer, lightly tap the cutter into the pumpkin.  Pumpkins will typically last 3-4 days.  You can preserve yours a little longer by spreading vaseline on the inside, spraying with bleach water or pam, or, since you are using an LED light, you can cover it in polyurethane.

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Mathew McIntosh is offering a class for $45 at Central Market on October 29th from 10am-12:30pm.  Reserve your spot ahead of time.  It’s geared for ages 12 & up.

LED lights are a great way to conserve energy.  For more ways to conserve, watch the Energy Thieves video.  It’s amazing the small things you can do that really make a difference!  To read more about the benefits of LED lights, visit the TXU Energy blog.

Have you carved pumpkins before or are you a novice like me?  It’s harder than I thought!