Some of my readers live in nice, humid areas of the country/world, and for you all, I’m sorry, but this post is going to be pretty pointless. I bet you’ve never spent hours carving a pumpkin, only to have it look like this…
Especially when you tend to make extremely intricate carved pumpkins, like the one I did last year
Or the year before that, when I did my own version of ‘If Tiffany Had Used a Pumpkin’.
Here in Vegas (and other dry, vapid places, I imagine) a pumpkin really can be completely ruined in an amazingly short amount of time. Now, granted, if you go with a classic styling…
…you might get a day or two out of it, but those teeth will begin to shrivel and deform right quick. Since shrivelage is a function of many variables but is always directly tied to the amount of cut surface area, fixing that will help. Or, in less scienc-y terms, the more cut edges there are, the faster the water IN the pumpkin can evaporate, which causes that dreaded shrivel. Additionally, the more intricate a carving is, the more cuts it will have.
So what can you do? A couple of things, really.
If You Already Have Some Minor Shrinkage
Stick that pumpkin underwater – immediately! And make sure it’s totally submerged. Just like lettuce, a few hours soaking up some cool water will repair minor damage and hydrate the whole squash.
To Prevent Shrinkage
I’ve tried many, MANY things recommended on the internet – Elmer’s glue, Vaseline, Aveeno lotion, and frankly, after spending hours (or days) cutting out a pumpkin, I don’t really WANT to go over EVERY. SINGLE. CUT. all over again. I really, REALLY don’t. Nor do I really want to shell out for Aveeno for a frickin’ pumpkin – I don’t even put that stuff on MY face!
The QUICK AND CHEAP solution? Cooking spray.
Once you’re done carving, spray the inside thoroughly and all your cuts. Everything should be well coated but nothing should be dripping or running down or anything. If you use too much, just use a paper towel and dab at it.
Needless to say, after dousing your jack-o-lantern in vaporized oil, DO NOT use a regular candle to light your pumpkin. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. Use one of those battery operated tea lights – they flicker and everything, and you don’t burn yourself trying to light it.