The Halloween jack o'lantern is a thrill for every youngster, it seems, and nothing seems more natural for him or her than to give the goblinesque creation the most realistic of appearances, getting every tooth and whisker just so. That is, until they try to carve it themselves.
Just two months shy of eight years old, my son appeared ready to handle at least part of the chore of slicing the orange melon's considerably meaty flesh, and I'm happy to report all went well. We used the score and score again technique, where a light line is notched with the point of the blade along the area to be cut. Then a second stab deepens the line, and a third or fourth goes all the way through the meat.
For the nose and ears, I demonstrated out the cuts don't have to go all the way through, but still provide plenty of pumpkinized realism.
And we even ate some of the noble squash, just to prove we could.
The picture at the right would have shown some of the cubed delights, if I'd taken a second to make sure they had made it into the picture. But here's what we did: all the pieces we took out--the eyes and the mouth--we saved, plus I cut some pieces of the fruit or flesh or meat or whatever you call the part that you eat. I cut them in small cubes, melted some butter in a small frying pan, added a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, and cooked them for about 15 minutes, just till they were soft enough to eat, but not mushy.
Okay, so it wasn't the healthiest of meals, but if the pilgrims had brought butter and brown sugar, I'm sure they would have done the same. Probably.