By: Mecca R. Dennehy
While some of us simply say, “it’s October,” we at TETON say, “it’s FINALLY October.” Why? Because we love everything fall: the crisp orange leaves along the trail, the foggy mornings spent in soft sweaters on top of mountains, and, of course, pumpkin everything. We wanted to share our favorite pumpkin decorating ideas and our favorite pumpkin recipes (like we said, we love everything pumpkin!)
Carving Pumpkins, Decorating Pumpkins
Whenever we think of carving pumpkins, the vision of Peppermint Patty drawing her design on the back of Charlie Brown’s bald head comes to mind. While we don’t encourage drawing on the back of your friend’s head, we DO suggest drawing out a plan for what you want to carve! Then, you can easily make changes to your design on paper, before you begin to cut. Once you have your final design, you can even draw it on directly to your pumpkin to help you carve!
A few tips when planning out your pumpkin carvings:
Don’t miss out on oddly shaped pumpkins! Sometimes, they offer the best canvas for unique designs. Also, you don’t always have to carve a face! We love carving fun landscapes like mountain ranges!
Cutting a hole in the back of the pumpkin (instead of cutting off the top of the pumpkin) will help the pumpkin stay fresh longer so it has more show-time on your front porch!
Use LED lights instead of candles. You won’t risk a fire and it will keep the pumpkin cool, which will help keep it fresh.
With that in mind, have fun with it! You don’t always need to do the basic triangle eyes and goofy smile.
If you aren’t the carving type but still want to partake in the pumpkin decorating festivities, try your hand at pumpkin painting; it’s way less messy and you get to use different colors!
Another way to “carve” a pumpkin is to use an exacto-knife or clay sculpting tools to shave out designs in the top layer of the pumpkin. This keeps the pumpkin whole and gives it a decorative tattoo!
Ditch the store-bought pumpkin pie this year. Seriously. Once you bake your own, there’s no going back, and you’ll thank us for that! Homemade pumpkin pie isn’t as hard as you’d think. Try out this recipe and let us know what you think!
If you want to wow your family with your baking skills, or simply just want a challenge, try this amazing pumpkin pie cheesecake recipe. I can say from first-hand experience, I’ve been baking this cheesecake for the past four Thanksgivings and it never disappoints. How can you say no to cheesecake and pumpkin?!
While all of these recipes use either canned pumpkin or a pie pumpkin, you can also make some yummy snacks from the seeds of your carving pumpkins! Simply rinse off your seeds, add some oil and salt and pepper, and bake at 300 ° for 45 minutes. You’ll have a crunchy snack in no time!
We hope this got you in the pumpkin mood! Grab your pumpkins, your carving tools, and your baking supplies and try your hand at these fun carving and baking ideas with everything pumpkin!
About the Author:
Mecca R. Dennehy
Mecca is an adventure writer and photographer based in Oregon and loves everything the rainy PNW has to offer. You can find her hiking to alpine lakes or camping with her husband and her two rescue pups, Finn and Ruby. She is also an adventure wedding and elopement photographer and loves to capture couples as they start the most epic adventure of all together.