Make the Most of your Jack O’Lantern
As you’re carving a Jack O’Lantern for Halloween, don’t forget that you can use the seeds you collect. Remove the filaments and rinse the seeds, then roast them with a little salt. Delicious! But don’t roast all of them: dry some on a paper towel and store them in a paper envelope. You can use them to sow your own pumpkins next year.
Don’t forget too that pumpkin flesh is perfectly edible. You can make a whole host of recipes from your Jack O’Lantern: pumpkin purée, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, muffins, bread… In fact, you can use any recipe that calls for squash, because pumpkin is just a big orange squash after all. Of course, to be used in cooking, the flesh has to be in good condition and not starting to decompose. So don’t carve your pumpkin more than 2 days before Halloween. For the very freshest pumpkin, carve it on Halloween afternoon. It will still be in perfect shape when you’re ready to cook the following day.
You don’t like pumpkin? (Probably because you have never tasted it!). Or the flesh has begun to decompose? At least don’t toss your Jack O’Lantern into the trash (what a waste!). Instead break it into pieces and put it in the compost bin. Pumpkin flesh is considered green matter, perfect for mixing with the fall leaves (brown matter) that are so abundant at this season. Or just toss pumpkin pieces into your vegetable garden or flowerbed and cover them with leaves. Mother Nature will take care of their decomposition.