Publix pumpkin patch

Fall is filled with spicy aromas, beautiful colors, and holiday season beginnings. What better way to kick off Halloween than carving the perfect pumpkin? We know you want the best for your family, and that’s why we pride ourselves on being the best place to pick your pumpkin and find everything you need to get creative.

 

The Starting Line

The practice of carving pumpkins originated with an Irish folktale about “Stingy Jack”, but nowadays, a carved pumpkin is a staple Halloween decoration — and it’s a lot easier to accomplish than you think!

When you’re ready to start carving your jack-o’-lantern, you have to start with the most essential ingredient — the perfect pumpkin! But what exactly makes these orange fruits ripe for the picking?10_17_KS_Produce_Jackolantern_Image 2

“There are a few things you want to look for when picking a pumpkin,” says Paul Keating, Publix Produce Category Manager. “First, you want to find a pumpkin with a nice, sturdy stem on it. Then, make sure the pumpkin is firm and shiny. These are all characteristics of a prime carving pumpkin!”

You also want to be sure to pick at the right time. October is pumpkin season, but keep in mind what the weather is like in your area. If you live where it’s warmer, your pumpkin won’t last as long as the ones in a cooler climate.

Gear Up

Once you have your pumpkin, you’ll need a tool kit and a stencil plan. “When it comes to carving pumpkins, the best advice I can give is to have a pumpkin carving toolkit,” says Keating. “Very few of us are skilled enough with a knife to safely carve a nice pumpkin, so the tool kit is an essential.” We sell tool kits every pumpkin season (usually right by the pumpkin display). Just ask an associate if you need help finding one.

Don’t forget to get your design in order, too. Some choose to free-hand their design, while others consult the internet for fun stencils to get started with. Whatever your choice is, trace your design with pencil first and then marker, if necessary, to see better.

Put Brush to Canvas

Once you’ve traced your design, put your apprehensions on hold and let your creativity shine. (Hey, if all else fails you can always make a big circle and say you carved a moon!) Remember to start by laying down newspaper on your carving station, cutting the pumpkin top around the stem, and scooping out all the seeds. Once you’ve finished carving your design, grab a tea-light candle and dim the lights to check out your creation in full effect.

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And if carving sounds a little too messy for you, maybe painting is more your style. Hit your local craft store for some inspiration and try your hand at painting a scary face or perhaps your favorite cartoon character. Whichever method you choose, let loose and have fun — that’s what it’s about, after all!

Did you see our post earlier this month about different ways to decorate pumpkins? Check it out!

The Aftermath

Once you’ve finished carving and setting up your pumpkin for all your neighbors to see, it’s time to clean up. But, even though those seeds are a gooey mess to behold, you don’t have to put them on a one-way express train to the garbage just yet.

“It’s so easy to clean the pumpkin seeds after carving your pumpkin. Then, you can dry them, salt them, and bake them. A tasty treat to reward the creative carvers!” says Keating.

We’re ready when you are to get this season’s pumpkin carving under way. With us, you know you’ll have that first ingredient (the perfect pumpkin) handled.  So, stop in and get started — we can’t wait to see you!

 

Have you started carving your pumpkins yet? Show us your photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Kandi S.

Written by

Kandi S. wrote her first short story at nine-years-old and has been a lover of the written word ever since, which makes The Publix Checkout one of her favorite things about working for Publix! Starting as a cashier in 2005, Kandi has since incorporated her love for writing and social media with her passion for the company focused on customer service. She enjoys fitness, writing, live music and local food and beverages. Kandi hopes you walk away from our blog each day with a new-found appreciation for the grocery store where shopping is a pleasure.

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