Photo courtesy of Nicholas Myers
It wouldn't be fall without a carved pumpkin, but the joy can be fleeting because jack-o’-lanterns often rot quickly. Here are a few tips to help extend the life of your spooky masterpiece.
- When selecting your pumpkin, steer clear of any with blemishes or soft spots. And be sure to choose one with a stem; stemless pumpkins can collect water on top.
- Remove bacteria from the surface of the pumpkin before carving it by wiping it down with a household disinfectant or diluted bleach solution (a quarter cup in a gallon of water).
- Once you’re done carving, lightly spread petroleum jelly over any cut surfaces.
- Keep the jack-o’-lantern in as cool and dry a place as possible.
Safety note: Do not use a big knife for carving, because the pumpkin rind is so tough. Try a pumpkin-carving kit, which contains a not-to-sharp serrated knife.
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