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October 25, 2022 4 min read

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to carve your Jack-o’-lantern!

A moment to share with friends and family!

               Do you know where this tradition comes from?                 

Pumpkins were traditionally placed on windows or at the entrance of houses to welcome good spirits and to protect themselves from evil.
When the Irish came to America, they used pumpkins, which were plentiful and very practical to handle.

Why are they called Jack-o’-lantern?

Its name comes from the reported phenomenon of strange lights flickering over peat bogs called will-o’-the-wisps or jack-o'-lanterns. The name is also tied to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a drunkard who bargains with Satan and is doomed to roam the Earth with only a hollowed turnip to light his way.

So now you that you know the history, let’s get carving!

Opinel pumpkin carving

1. Get the pumpkin

Head to your favorite local pumpkin patch to find the perfect piece for your fall carving activity!

Opinel pumpkin carving knives
 

2. The tools

In order to make the most beautiful pumpkin, we recommend using the following tools:

Be sure to well organized your space to be as comfortable as possible to carry out this activity.

Pumpkin carving



3. Drawn a circle on the top

Take a black pen with a thick head, to make it easy and visible on the skin of the pumpkin.

With the pen, draw the outline of your hat on the top of the pumpkin.
This tip will allow you to have a path to respect and to cut with regularity.





Pumkin Carving 

4. Cut out the hat

This step is quite complicated, we recommend that it be done by an adult so that children do not get hurt.

Use the vegetable knife, pre-cut the cap of your pumpkin, then bring your knife N°10 to ensure a deeper cut.
This will make it easy to remove the hat.





Pumpkin carving 

5. Remove the hat

Once the contour is well cut, gently remove the pumpkin hat with your hands to access the inside.

If you encounter difficulties, use the soup spoon as a lever or try to cut again with your knife on the contour to be sure that there are no more points of attachment.







Empty the pumpkin


6. Empty the pumpkin

Then, using the tablespoon, empty the inside of the pumpkin, removing the flesh and seeds. Nothing must be left!
Save the seeds and follow Chef Mike recipe below to turn them in a delicious snack!







Roasted pumpkin seeds

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (more if needed)
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic  
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp rosemary or thyme, finely chopped 

Method:

Preheat oven to 375°F convection.

Wash pumpkin seeds in a colander to remove the pulp from the pumpkin. Pat dry with paper towels and place in a mixing bowl. Combine pumpkin seeds, olive oil, salt, garlic, paprika, black pepper and chopped herbs.

Place parchment paper on a large sheet tray (or 2 smaller ones.) Evenly spread the seasoned pumpkin seeds on the sheet tray. Roast until the seeds are toasted and crunchy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Move seeds around and stir every 2-3 minutes for even toasting. Once the seeds are evenly browned and crispy, remove and set aside (be careful to not burn pumpkin seeds.)

Once seeds are pulled from oven, let completely cool on sheet tray and then transfer the roasted pumpkin seeds to a bowl and serve.

Pumkin face

7. Draw face with pen

You can train first on a sheet or draw directly on the pumpkin.

Draw the face of your pumpkin with your pen. First draw the eyes, then the nose and finally the mouth. Here is an example of a face but there are many others to imagine with different expressions.

This step allows you to locate yourself during the cutting and therefore not to be mistaken!




Pumpkin face

8. Cut out facial shapes

You can now sculpt the face with the knife N°10 or with the vegetable knife depending on the size of your pumpkin.

By following the lines you have drawn in pen, this guarantees you not to be mistaken.

We advise you to start with the eyes, then the nose and finally the mouth.

Be careful not to hurt yourself, it is rather advisable to let adults exercise this delicate step, because the skin of the pumpkin is thick.



Pumpkin hat

9. Put the hat back on

To close the pumpkin, gently put on the hat you cut out at the very beginning of the activity.

 

 

 

 



Pumpkin carving

Ta-Daa!

Congratulations, your pumpkin is ready for Halloween!

You still have to put a small candle inside your pumpkin to bring it to life and make it look scary at night.



Opinel pumkin carving

Show us your pumpkin carving creations by tagging us @OpinelUSA.

Tools you need

No.10 Stainless Steel

No.10 Stainless

Essential Vegetable Knife

Vegetable Knife

Perpétue Tablespoon

Perpetue Flatware


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