I love Brighton. Whilst in the rest of the country, Halloween means hiding in darkened rooms from pikey kids “trick or treating”, where the options are money or egging, in Brighton we get the Zombie Walk and White Night. What’s not to love about watching hundreds of (I assume) students dressed to the nines in zombie gear, fake blood dripping from their mouths, moaning and stumbling down the Brighton streets. Brilliant and totes Brighton!
Anyway, I’ve never really gone in for Halloween. Having been raised as a good Christian girl Halloween was a big no-no in our house; I have never got dressed up and gone trick or treating, and I have never ever carved a pumpkin. Until now that is! This year, inspired by various people tweeting and blogging about their pumpkin carving attempts, I thought it was finally time to give it a go.
I decided not to go for the iconic scary face, and didn’t quite feel ready for The Death Star, so I thought I might carve some stylish monogram pumpkins (S for Sven and B for Becci, obv) to decorate our flat.
The first job is to open and hollow out your pumpkin. Using a serrated knife, cut a big hole in the top (at least bigger than your fist),
Then empty out the seeds and stingy bits – put them to one side. Next scrape away from the edge until the walls of the pumpkin are about 1/2 inch thick. Then tape the stencil onto the pumpkin and mark out the bits you need to cut out.
Using a craft knife, cut out around your markings out. If you like you can mix-up your design by only half-cutting through some sections. For my letters I cut completely through for the edge of the letters then half-cut through for the patterns inside the letters. This gives really nice textures of light when you put a candle inside. Here are my finished letters before I put the candles in – don’t they look pretty!
Pop a tea-light in a glass and place it inside the pumpkin.
For a delicious and healthy snack, clean off the seeds that you reserved and spread them out on a baking tray. Drizzle over some oil (I used sun-olive) and sprinkle over some Maldon sea salt.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or so at around 200 degrees. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over some cayenne pepper. Pop back in the oven for another few minutes.
A delicious salty spicy snack to pick at whilst you’re watching a scary movie!