It never occurred to me to decorate a pumpkin at Halloween any other way than carving it, but Melissa from the Empress of Dirt blog recently published a post calling for entries to a pumpkin decorating competition where pumpkins are embellished rather than sculptured and it seems such a great idea.
If you’ve ever carved pumpkins you’ll have noticed how quickly they go mouldy inside, yet when they’re left in one piece they’ll last for months, which is great if you’re wondering what you can cook up after the festive season that’s cheap, cheerful and healthy.
We usually carve one or two pumpkins at Halloween to hold tea lights on the windowsills, but I’ve friends and neighbours with several dotted around their homes and gardens. That’s a lot of pumpkin flesh to use up or freeze at a busy time of year. Embellishing the pumpkins can give you the best of both worlds – a decorated squash in October that you can eat at Christmas.
If you like the idea of creating a piece of pumpkin art and trying something different this year, Melissa has lots of examples that you can find here to give you some ideas.
I opted for a natural, ‘green man’ look with the giant community garden squash that will be on display at Savour Kilkenny (using a glue gun to stick everything to the pumpkin).
If you’re in Kilkenny this weekend and would like to see it, the Kilkenny Community Garden Network will have a stand in the Leader Partnership marquee on Sunday, where we’ll be selling this seasons chutneys and jams, made by the gardeners from produce mostly sown and grown in Callan community garden this year.
I was planning to make an autumn door wreath but haven’t managed to, yet this seems to make up for it. Our eldest daughter wasn’t so keen on my ‘green’ pumpkin as she couldn’t see its orange skin behind the leaves but Mr G loved it as he’s always been a Green Man fan.
What do you think? Could you be persuaded to hang on to your pumpkin a bit longer, embellish it and perhaps make a soup from its flesh or roast the seeds in a couple of months time, or are you a carving traditionalist, something that was after all, supposed to have originated in Ireland?
I love this idea. I’ve never gotten around to carving a pumpkin but do fancy turning to my hand to it at some stage. I also love cooking with squash but you are right, it doesn’t really freeze well so I end up throwing it out often. At Christmas I have loads of time for cooking so maybe not this year at this stage but maybe next year you might see a cat style embellished pumpkin 🙂
I guess it was only in recent years that we began carving pumpkins Amanda but do enjoy having one or two lit in windowsills. If you buy a pumpkin now it will still be good for Christmas if left whole and as they’re in season, good and cheap to buy. Look forward to seeing your cat o’pumpkin at some stage 🙂
Dee, this is gorgeous!!!!
Thanks Jonni! Appreciate you leaving such a lovely comment 😀
I bought 2 pumpkins the other day, one for soup – plus some of the bits from the carved one too. On the to-do list for Thursday.
We always carve our pumpkins, years ago we carved turnips!
I do like your Green Man and hope the 1000 feasts and Savour Kilkenny went well. Had planned to go in on Saturday afternoon but between K being ill with a bad cold and me, gosh, I can’t remember now what I was doing but I didn’t get to go. Hope all went really well.
Pumpkin carving was said to originate in Ireland Lorna, with turnips so you were being a traditionalist even if you may not have realised!
Savour was brilliant, there was so much there and the whole town seemed to get involved this year. I didn’t go on the Saturday and wish I had of now as Sunday was busy between setting up and helping out the community gardens as well as organising a bloggers tour for Green and Vibrant. Next year I’ll know better.
Hope K feels better soon and it doesn’t pass through to the rest of you.
Love Green Man pumpkin! He does look like the stone Green Man pieces you find in garden art. So cool. Maybe a mate for my Priscilla Pumpkinhead?
Thank you! A mate’s a great idea as was thinking at the time he looked lonely. Priscilla Pumpkinhead would be perfect!
Too funny! I love it. Though I suspect it may leap out at us at any moment…. 😉
I like that it will last. Thanks Melissa for the idea of decorating rather than carving, looking forward to coming up with some new ideas next year now 🙂