Ok, ok, first thing – LOOK HOW SMALL MY BABIES WERE!! They have always loved pumpkin picking, and to be honest, it’s something that every child (and adult!) enjoys isn’t it?! It’s the fun side to Halloween, even if you don’t go in for the whole ‘spooky’ part of Halloween, decorating en-masse as soon as the 1st October arrives (Or this year making a conscious effort to start the second it starts to look like Autumn because why not?!) or the historical/religious element, it’s still fun to carve one up and stick it on the porch. I’ve put together a few tips for choosing your pumpkins, it’s not as easy as you might think and it often means you end up with one going a bit crap after a few days.
- Big ones and medium ones are best for carving, but if you want to eat it then they are the most tasty when they are small. In fact, the white or blue pumpkins will always have more flavour, so instead of buying one to paint, just buy one thats naturally different.
- A heavy but hollow pumpkin is a healthy pumpkin, if it feels dense, soft, wet or sounds sloshy put it back!
- A green pumpkin might look cool but it won’t ripen any further, so bare that in mind if you want an orange display pumpkin!
- There are tonnes of shades of orange and different shapes. We usually have two really big beautiful pumpkins and then eight (yes, eight, I get excited ok?) medium to small ones. I try to choose all different shapes and colours, this year there is a real call for bumpy, mucky green pumpkins – more ghoulish apparently – which Roo thought was ‘amaaazing’!
- I know it’s cheaper at the supermarket, and yeah, it’s a frivilous thing to spend money on when you’re already tight, but if you want to have something that will a.) last longer and b.) be absolutely delish, then I highly recommend paying just a touch more and going to a fruit and veg farm shop where you can see it’s been grown. We have a gorgeous one locally on the road to Pickering from Malton and we always grab them – last year they had blue/white pumpkins and they were so sweet tasting to eat.
- Never carry a pumpkin by its stork, it will most likely break. Try to get a pumpkin with a decent stork as they look fab.
- Check your pumpkin for dents, holes, mouldy stork, marks and scuffs. If it has any of these things then it’s not the pick of the bunch. That being said if it has a small scuff or dent and it’s still firm, you can get away with it!
- If you are going pumpkin patch picking, take a wheelbarrow.
- Don’t let your kids lift really big pumpkins – they are as heavy as they look if they are fresh.
- To check if your pumpkin is ‘ripe’ you should push the skin with your thumb. It should by hard, if it gives or is soft, then the pumpkin is overripe. Never do this test on the face of the pumpkin, always the bottom.
So that’s it! Pumpkin picking for Halloween all in one neat little post!
Happy Halloween everyone, enjoy your pumpkins (and pumpkin soup!)