As planned, we brought our enormous pumpkin to a friend's house for a carving party. (Well, sort of as planned. The party was kind of cancelled because one of the hostesses was in labor and most of the guests were sick, but we didn't know and showed up anyway, so the other hostess very graciously entertained us and we had a great night.) They had a great set-up for pumpkin de-gutting, with a big metal bowl and much bigger plastic sheet to protect their floor. I quickly removed the bottom of the pumpkin with the knife that came in our Pumpkin Masters kit (apparently removing the top is old-school now). The de-gutting went pretty quickly too, with the scoop from the kit. We then taped our Haunted Hogwarts (what I'm calling it) pattern onto the pumpkin and started cutting.
It really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be! There was a little pokey plastic stick that I poked into the corners where I needed to cut to have somewhere to insert my knife and then I followed the lines. My husband and I split the pattern and were done in not much time at all, accounting for the size of the pumpkin and relative complexity of the pattern, a 3/4 on the Pumpkin Masters scale. It got a bit trickier towards the end as the pattern started to get a little wet and tore apart more easily, but it didn't cause us to mess anything up.
Look how cool our pumpkin was!
Yeah, so I said was. We could tell there was a problem as soon as we cut the bottom off, because there was a spot of rot in the back. We tried to kind of cut it out to keep it from spreading (? couldn't hurt, right?) and then decided to completely ignore the problem. I think this test of pumpkin preservation methods that I read yesterday supports that approach. It didn't work out for us, though. There was more rot and lots of mold and yesterday the pumpkin just totally collapsed in our window. Sadly we won't be able to entertain the crowds on the street below our apartment with Haunted Hogwarts this holiday, but it was totally fun while it lasted.
Here are all of the masterpieces produced at the party -- everybody there was seriously talented! (Or they were Mike and I and had a kit to make things really easy.)
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