October is our AGM month – a great speech by Jess and what a lot of activities crammed into one year.
And then onto the important part of the evening – pumpkins!
The pictures speak for themselves, but what a lot of fun was had. So much so that someone commented on Facebook that their daughter thought WI looked just like Brownies for grown ups!
And some of Sarah’s top tips for your at-home carving:
After you’ve cut the top off to make your lid, scoop the seeds and flesh out with a metal spoon or a sturdy icecream scoop – the more flesh you scoop the brighter your pumpkin.
Designs – google and pinterest are full of brilliant ideas so be inspired!
For carving, plan your design on paper then either draw in washable felt tip (not permanent marker) or cut out a stencil from greaseproof paper and stick to a dry pumpkin with spray mount glue or hairspray. It is still easiest to mark the pumpkin skin with felt tip using the stencil then cut along the lines. Score all the lines first and do any skin removal required for the design before removing any pieces. Once the design is cut into the pumpkin the big pieces are best removed bit by bit rather than in large blocks.
The best knives are slim and reasonably flexible. Scalpels are good for the intricate bits but less good for removing large chunks. Tidy up on the inside when finished for a clearer result
Electric drills are fun and make quick work of holes. Lino cutting/pottery tools are great for straight lines or fur (have a look for the Wild Things pumpkin online).
Candles need enough oxygen so if your design is very closed it may be necessary to lift the lid slightly – matchsticks or cocktail sticks are good for this. Cocktail sticks are useful for emergency repairs too if things break off they can be used as splints.
And don’t forget the insides…
The seeds can be roasted – wash them, spread them on a baking tray with any favourite spices/sea salt/chilli and a glug of oil, roast them for 10 minutes or so, allow them to cool and then eat them or store them in an airtight container.
Why not try spiced pumpkin soup with toasted pumpkin seed croutons if you’re feeling ambitious – have a look at this Jamie Oliver recipe http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/glorious-roasted-pumpkin-soup.
And there’s always pumpkin pie – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1742633/pumpkin-pie!