Pumpkins are the surest sign of fall, of Halloween, of Thanksgiving – the whole autumnal season. And they’re far more versatile than you might think. Use your gourd and try these traditional and innovative ways to put fall pumpkins to work.
1. Carve a jack-o-lantern. This old classic was made new by patterns and carving tools that let you achieve monstrously good results.
2. Hollow out your gourd and use it as a vase, filling it with mums, cattails and fall foliage.
3. Paint ’em up. Some parents prefer painting pumpkins to carving. It’s easier and safer. So give the kids some paints and embellishments and let them go to town with this creative art project.
4. Take out the guts, but save the seeds. Washed, sprinkled with salt and roasted, they are a tasty snack.
5. Pumpkins make great projectiles, so look for punkin’ chunkin competitions. Or use them for backyard bowling or bocce ball.
6. Heap large and small pumpkins and squash at your front door for an inviting display. For an elegant look, spray paint them white, gold or silver and add glitter.
7. If you lose your head, a pumpkin will do – as it did for the Headless Horseman in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Most people won’t notice at all.
8. Carve into a basket shape (don’t forget the handle), and heap with seeds and suet for the birds.
9. Make pumpkin pie.