Thursday, October 28, 2010

Family Activity - Time to Carve the Pumpkins!

My boys have been ready to
carve our pumpkins
for weeks now.
Carve 'em up . . . Light 'em up . . . and Set them on the Porch!
If you don't want to cut them with a knife,
use a drill!
Here are a few SAFETY TIPS to keep in mind:
I added these because MY FAMILY is totally
accident prone and BLESSED but NOT LUCKY!
SOOOO... if you are careful by nature,
YOU can skip this next section!
(Although it wouldn't hurt to brush up on some First Aid Basics!)
Prepare your Pumpkin - Moisture causes your hand or knife to slip.
Dry hands, pumpkins, and tools are a must.
Have the Right Tools for the Job.
Pumpkin carving kits have been created to make carving easier.
The small saws and sharp plastic tools are easier to control
 and are less likely to get stuck in the pumpkin.
“According to a study in the Journal of Preventative Medicine,
these tools cause fewer and less severe injuries
than serrated or plain kitchen knives.”
If using a kitchen knife, sharper is not better.
They often get lodged in the thick pulp and require greater force to remove.
If your fingers are in the wrong place when the
knife dislodges an injury can occur.
Hold the Pumpkin with Caution...People!
 Injuries usually occur when cutting towards your hand
or when the knife slips out the other
side of the pumpkin where it is being held.
Making small controlled cuts and using tools that cannot reach
the other side helps reduce these risks.
You can also use a carving board to steady the pumpkin as well.
Carving is for Adults
Little hands and sharp utensils do not mix.
Have them draw the pattern and remove pulp instead.
Adolescents Still Require Supervision –
Carving parties are fun but filled with distractions.
If adolescents are getting together to carve pumpkins,
an adult should be present to ensure the safe use of sharp carving tools.
Know First Aid for a Carving Injury
(Hmmmmm...that sounds like a good thing to brush up on!)
First Aid Skills are an important part of being PREPARED!
If an injury does occur, bleeding usually stops with direct pressure to the area.
Clean the wound and apply a topical antibiotic and a bandage.
If your finger loses feeling or can’t move, the wound is deep or the entire width of your finger,
or it is still bleeding after 15 minutes of pressure, go to the emergency room.
Oh, and one more thing...
Don't Throw the Seeds Away!
Save them for the TREAT:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You Will Need:
Seeds from your Jack O Lantern
Butter Flavored Non-Stick Cooking Spray
Rinse seeds and remove all pulp and fiber.
Pat dry with paper towel and let dry at room temperature
for at least three hours.
Spray a cookie sheet with butter flavored cooking spray,
or coat seeds with melted butter.
Sprinkle with salt or other seasoning if you like them spicy.
Spread seeds thinly on sheet and roast at 250 degrees for about an hour.
Stir every 15-20 minutes and spray lightly
with buttered covered spray as needed.
When seeds are golden brown,
remove them and let cool before eating or storing.
If you're in a hurry and your guests don't want to wait
for the seeds to air dry you can try the microwave recipe.
Rinse seeds in water to remove pulp and then dry with paper towel.
Place 2 tablespoons butter in a two quart dish
and microwave on High for 30 seconds.
Stir the seeds around in the butter to thoroughly coat each seed,
and spread out evenly in the dish.
Microwave on High for 7-8 minutes or until toasted,
stirring every two minutes.
Sprinkle with salt and serve.
For Extra Flavor:
After cooled if you want even more flavor
place them in a zip lock or plastic bag.
Add about 1/2 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
to every 1 cup of seeds you have.
Once they are fully coated you can add your dry flavors,
 salt, sugar, cinnamon, paprika, garlic powder,
anything that sounds good.
If you are using a wet flavor like liquid smoke,
Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, soy sauce,
you don't need to add the olive oil.
Instead use the same measuring system 1/2 teaspoon per 1cup seeds.
Perfect Pumpkin Seeds . . . Everytime!
Here's the Recipe PDF:

1 comment:

Valerie Bybee said...

This is exactly what I was looking for. We are going to carve ours tomorrow or Saturday. Not sure when, but after last year's disaster pumpkin seed cooking, I needed a realiable recipe. I really like the microwave and BBQ version. Thanks a bunch!