Sunday, October 23, 2011


Just over a week away, Hallowe'en awaits.

It's a fun and festive time for my kids, as it was for me as a child. A few years ago, I took the kids on a walk around our neighbourhood to show them the ghoulish decorations and carved pumpkins on display.

"What's that?" asks Ty, pointing to a skeleton.

"That's a skinny guy who didn't eat his oatmeal," I reply. It made an impression. Years later, he never refuses a bowl of oatmeal. Yay! He eats something!

Some of the daycare kids who go to the same school as my own went on a field trip to a local farm and came home with pie pumpkins.

"What do we do with these?" they ask.

"We scoop out the insides and carve faces into them."

"How do we do that?"

Well, first you need a pumpkin.

Carefully cut off the top and put it aside. Scoop out the insides into a separate bowl. Save the pumpkin seeds for a yummy treat.

Rinse the pumpkin seeds, cleaning them of pulp. Pat dry. Measure out 2 cups of pumpkin seeds. I was a little short, but close enough.

Add 1½ tbsp of melted butter and 1½ tsp of salt. I used sea salt, but any kind of salt will do. The sea salt gave these a flavour not unlike popcorn. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam or grease with oil and spread the seeds out evenly. Bake at 250ยบ for 2 hours.

While the seeds are baking, carve basic shapes into the pumpkin to make eyes, a nose and mouth. Triangles, squares, rectangles are all great shapes to use. Unless you have specific tools or more talent than I do, I really don't recommend circles.

Our Jack-o-lanterns in full flame, complete with battery powered candles.

Happy Hallowe'en

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