Orange. Plump. Round. Delicious. These words all describe the most important fall item—the pumpkin. In 2012, more than 47,000 acres of these autumn delights were harvested and delivered to grocery stores, pumpkin patches and fall-themed events across the country. While pumpkins are a common item in the fall repertoire, it’s what you do with them that makes them unique.
If you’d like to do more than carve a toothy smile on your jack-o-lantern this year, then here are some suggestions to make your pumpkin not only festive, but fun and useful.
Make a pumpkin tower
As fall gets underway, pumpkins will begin to appear on doorsteps and porches as far as the eye can see. So, why not make your fall display pop by creating a pumpkin tower. By drilling a few holes and removing your pumpkins’ stems, you will be able to stack them on top of one another to form a festive fall tower.
Roast it and eat it
You’ve heard of scalloped potatoes, but have you heard of pumpkin scalloped potatoes? Recipe Girl shows you how to create a tasty autumn side dish with pumpkin puree that will have your mouth watering in the pumpkin patch.
But before you can start cooking with your puree, you have to roast your pumpkin. Usually this is process takes a while and can be messy, but with this easy tutorial, you can roast your gourd in a crock pot. This means you will have more time to come up with tasty pumpkin recipes.
Make it an art project
If your child is not old enough to cut a happy face into the side of a pumpkin with a knife, then allowing them to paint their own pumpkin could be a great way to get them involved in the decorating process, without the threat of injury. The Imagination Tree and her little ones created sparkly pumpkins with some glue, paint and colorful sequins. They’re not only a one-of-a-kind decorative piece, but they also help small children practice hand-eye-coordination and small muscle movements.
Make it glow
Although a friendly, smiling jack-o-lantern can be festive, some autumn decorators would prefer that their pumpkins incite fear. If you’d rather create a scarier scene, then try using glow-in-the-dark spray paint to make your pumpkin stand out from the crowd. Lining your walkway with these eerie faces would be a great way to show guests the way to the Halloween party or to lure unsuspecting trick-or-treaters into your homemade haunted house.
Fill it with candy
Halloween and candy go hand-in-hand. But now, pumpkins and candy can be just as chummy. With this pumpkin-carving tutorial on In My Own Style, you’ll be creating a unique, holiday pumpkin candy dish that will keep guest smiling all season long.
If candy isn’t your thing, then try hollowing out a pumpkin, filling it with ice and creating a festive beverage holder that will be perfect for Halloween parties and fall themed get-togethers.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.