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October 28, 2012

Energize your jack-o’-lantern

- by Debra Anchors

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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  1. Great tips on pumpkin carving and preservation. I always feel sad when the pumpkins go bad at the end of the season, but next time I'll follow your ideas here and maybe I can keep them fresh-looking a little longer.

    1. Hello from across the Lake, Karen! Thanks so much for dropping in. I stopped by your 'Quarry Garden Stained Glass' and enjoyed it very much. Please visit again soon. -Debra


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