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Time for Pumpkin Carving

There is a new crispness to the air. As we gather our fall jackets from the closet and begin to think about where we left last winter?s scarves and mittens, it?s time to start thinking about Halloween. It?s a great chance to get the kids together and do some fun family activities, like hay rides and visits to the apple orchard to pick apples, and stopping at the cider mill on the way home for some hot cider and donuts.

And what fall day would be complete without a visit to the pumpkin patch? Visit a local pumpkin patch if you can for the freshest pumpkins and the best selection. What?s more, it?s a blast letting the kids run around the patch and choose their own pumpkin.

Once you get those pumpkins home, the real fun starts. Turn up the Halloween music, whether spooky or fun, and spread some newspapers, because it?s going to get messy. Clean out and carve the pumpkins on a picnic table outdoors if the weather permits.

You?ll need:

  • A marker or felt-tipped pen to draw on your design before you begin cutting. Consider drawing it out first on a piece of paper, cutting on the lines, and then tracing it onto the pumpkin.
  • A serrated knife, to cut out a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin from which you can scoop the insides out.
  • A long-handled spoon to scoop out the seeds from inside the pumpkin.
  • A small carving knife to cut out your design (for children old enough).
  • A bowl for the seeds and other pumpkin innards.

Be sure to pick out the seeds ? roasted up, they make a healthy and delicious snack. Just take 2 cups of raw pumpkin seeds and toss with about 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spread the seeds on a cookie or baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes at 300 degrees. Salt to taste, and serve.

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