For me...carving pumpkins does not come without anxiety. It stems back many years...decades really.
You see, both my sisters are amazing artists. When we were little girls and carving night arrived, the two of them (like a pretty pair of Edward Scissorhands) would sculpt the perfect Jack O'Lanterns... blue ribbon worthy and chock full of, "spooky personality!"
Before I could even carve my first pumpkin eye, their masterpieces would be prominently displayed on each side of the front door... drawing accolades and praise from neighbors, family and friends. (Martha Stewart ringing for their secrets.)
Sadly, my pumpkin ended up sitting in the backyard...alone...partially covered by branches and leaves...its eyes, nose and mouth difficult to decipher.
The funniest thing is, there's actually a picture of me when I was little, sitting on our front porch proudly clutching (right smack in my lap) one of my sisters' masterpiece pumpkins! I recall (in that little girl head of mine) thinking, "history will be blurred here! Everyone will believe this pumpkin is/was... mine... MINE... ....MINE!!!"
What I didn't realize was that my f'UGLY pumpkin sat clear as day in the background - the sun hitting its face just so - as to make it the focal point of the whole entire photo! (Not the adorable little...ARTISTICALLY GIFTED...blond girl rocking bouncy, beautiful pigtails!)
Double Sigh, Foot Stomp!
So anyway...here's the Jack O'Lantern my daughter and I carved today. Despite its odd mouth (something went awry) I think I've come a long way.
P.S.: my husband (who is not feeling well) carved his pumpkin tonight too (after we did ours) and my darling daughter exclaimed, "Look Mommy! Daddy carved a "real" Jack O'lantern! The kind I've always wanted...with the squiggly mouth!"
Kick me while I'm down why don't you.
Here are the seeds we roasted. Happy Halloween!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Seeds from 1 large pumpkin (1-1/2 cups)
Spices ~ Here I used a similar spice mix I like to use on roasted chickpeas...salt, garam marsala, touch of garlic powder, chili powder and bit of cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 350.
Rinse, clean and dab dry the pumpkin seeds.
Spray roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Sprinkle seeds with salt and/or spices of your choice.
Place seasoned seeds in a single layer in pan.
Roast seeds for about 15 minutes, shaking once during cooking.
Let cool before eating - they're better when at room temp! Crunchy, salty, sweet!
They were a HUGE hit!