We’ve reached the time where we can carve our pumpkins!
Jack-O- Lanterns, those delightful things that pumpkins become at Halloween, originated with an old Irish folktale about a fellow named Jack who was doomed to wander the earth – having been too much of a stingy drunk to be let into heaven, and after having once played a trick on the devil, considered too mischievous and thus barred from hell. He carried with him a lantern carved from a turnip and lit with an ember from satan’s vast personal supply to light his way as he roamed thither and yon until Judgement Day.
When this tale traveled with Irish immigrants to North America, it was found that pumpkins were more common and easier to carve than turnips. So it was a no-brainer that they won out and became the traditional jack-0-lantern that we use today. Personally, I think it would be much too hard to carve a turnip and I would end up throwing it out the window.
Most of us have carved a pumpkin or two in our lives and we all have our own methods that prove infallible each year. I personally find a keyhole saw most useful in cutting through that thick, orange rind. This year I decided to go a slightly different route, using a serrated knife from the kitchen and purchasing my first commercially manufactured pumpkin carving utensil for $2 at the drug store. After using the little pumpkin knife, I would recommend this orange plastic utensil for any fine pumpkin carving work that needs to be done. I’m no pumpkin artist, but I find carving the classic face works nicely for my Halloween needs.
Nothing says Halloween like a carved pumpkin, hauntingly lit by a flickering candle. All the rest of the world is in darkness but a jack-o- lantern will guide you to the haunts, the horrors, or the candy.