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Sunday 30 October 2011

Boo! It's Halloween!

The girls and I arrived in San Francisco a few days ago just in time for our first ever Halloween.

Ava is so excited about Halloween (as am I!) and has been eager to get into the spirit of the season with decorations, costumes and pumpkins.

Today we had our first go at making jack-o'-lanterns. We chose two perfect little pumpkins so the girls could have one each.
Ava wanted to help out as much as possible but there's only so much a four year old can help when it comes to carving hard vegetables with a sharp knife! After I cut the top off the first pumpkin I gave Ava a spoon to start scooping out the seeds and stringy "pumpkin guts". Ava was revolted by what the inside of the pumpkin looked like, and apparently by the smell, so she gave up on this job pretty quickly!

Ava ready for pumpkin carving

Ava has a go out scooping out the "pumpkin guts"

After being grossed out by the inside of the pumpkin Ava handed the scooping job over to Kim.
She still complained about the smell though!

Once the guts has been scooped out it was time to start carving. Kim started with a three eyed design that Ava had drawn. Pretty quickly we discovered the reason that most jack-o'-lanterns have triangular eyes - circles are really hard to carve neatly! After seeing Kim struggle with the round eyes I decided to go for the more traditional look with triangular eyes on the pumpkin that I carved. This resulted in a much neater look.

The carved out pieces make a great costume!

Two finished jack-o'-lanterns - of differing quality :)

Is that a third jack-o'-lantern?

At some point during the day while our jack-o'-lanterns were sitting on the back deck the "lid" of Kim's disappeared. I have no idea where it went. I'm blaming it on one of the squirrels that runs along the fence!

This evening it was time to put our jack-o'-lanterns to the test with candles. We rested them on our faux-spider web covered front porch and lit them up. I think they look quite effective if I do say so myself!

Scary glowing pumpkins

Unfortunately I discovered too late that when using small pumpkins the "lid" should probably be left off when the candle is burning. After a few hours the candle flame had started to burn the underside of the "lid" on my pumpkin turning it black and shrinking it so that it fell in and squished the candle! Oops! I thought I'd smelled burning food out the front but I didn't think anything of it until Ava wanted to have another look at them.

Tomorrow I plan to buy a larger pumpkin and make another jack-o'-lantern to grace our porch on Halloween night. We need something to scare those trick or treaters!

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