Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin-Slaughter: Cutting and Gutting

Halloween is a wonderful holiday.  In my hometown, the air is getting crisp and carries with it a hint of burnt leaves and damp soil.  Decorations are popping up around the neighborhood and candy has found its way into my house.  Preparations are being made for costumes and parties that will include more candy and a lot of laughter.

But one of my favorite traditions is the carving of the pumpkins.  There's something about scalping a giant orange gourd and reaching in through the top to pull the guts out with my bare hands.  It's like a bonding moment for Mira, Rowe, and myself, as they have spent some time ripping the innards from people while I reserved my evisceration for pumpkins.  The experience is very cathartic and delightfully messy. 

This year, I took some pictures of myself and my Other Half gutting and carving up some helpless pumpkins for our amusement.  The first picture is of this year's victim selected out of a giant cardboard box at the store.  Next year, I'm thinking of ripping a pair straight from the patch. 

Normally, I go for the typical jack-o-lantern look of eyes, nose, and crooked grin with missing teeth.  This year, we decided to try out a stencil package with a few useful tools.  It was so fun, but very hard to choose what I wanted to draw on my pumpkin.
The next shot is of the collected pumpkin guts from our two eviscerated friends.  The little kit that we got came with a scraper, but I found that I still have a preference for a metal spoon with a nice edge or my fingernails.  Though, it can be such a pain trying to get all those pumpkin guts out from underneath your fingernails.

And now I've got my guts and I've got my knife.  I'm ready to go in with the precision of a surgeon and the enthusiasm of a maniacal mad man!  Can you feel the delicious squish between your fingers?  I think we need more holidays where we cut things up and put them on display for our amusement.
Here's a picture of the O.H. carving away at his pumpkin.  We managed to break one of the little carving knives that we got with the set so we occasionally brought in some of the big guns ... er.. I mean knives to slice away at hard exterior to get at the soft inner tissue.  As you can see from the hole, the brains have already been extracted from this poor fellow. 
 Not surprisingly, I decided to go with Dracula for my pumpkin carving.  The big bad bloodsucker wasn't too difficult to do and I think he looks really good.  Right now, I'm fighting the urge to get another pumpkin because there were a lot of other designs that I thought were awesome.

And here is the O.H.'s pumpkin.  He wisely decided to go with the grim reaper and I think it looks amazing.  It's properly creepy and spooky. 

Our pumpkins have been gutted, cut, and carved.  They arrived in my house as mere lost souls waiting to be slaughtered.  They have been raised from the dead and our ready to take on the world... or maybe just our front porch as we hand out candy to the neighborhood kids.

What Halloween traditions do you have?  A scary movie marathon?  Costume parties?  Handing out candy?  Eating candy?  Prowling graveyards in a white sheet?  Tell me your Halloween traditions!

1 comment:

Candace said...

I've never been big on pumpkin carving, but that looks like fun!! Maybe I'll run out to the craft store for one of those fake pumpkins to carve this week.