Happy Reformation Day! I'm savoring the last few hours of October out here in Hawaii. It is already November on the East Coast. Hard to believe. One of my favorite things about this time of year is the harvest. When I was a kid, we used to bundle up in sweaters, pile into the van, and find ourselves in a fading apple orchard on a crisp autumn afternoon. We'd pick the apples, take a hayride, and drink hot apple cider. Then we would head to a pumpkin patch and pick our own glowing orange pumpkin for the front stoop.
We don't have pumpkin patches or apple orchards in Hawaii, but somehow the grocery stores still manage to ship in our pumpkins, bright and shiny like they just came from the farm. It seems a little silly to put pumpkins out on the steps here (right next to the palm tree and hibiscus bush), but this year a group of us carved some pumpkins for a contest. Since I love living coastal, I thought I'd try something different this year. I found a really cool blogpost that inspired me to do my own nautical pumpkin carving. It turned out better than I expected:
This ship design reminds me of New England, for some reason. Nantucket and the old whaling days and Moby Dick and sailing by the stars and all that. It was so much fun to make this, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It took about 3 to 4 hours to finish though.
First I set up with a collection of ice cream scoopers to excavate the pumpkin seeds, knives, an ice pick, and plenty of candles to light up the evening. Also, you can see my pumpkin Seed on the left. Yes, we like to name our pumpkins before we cut their hearts out.
There was also plenty of candy corn, of course. (which I forgot to eat in my enthusiasm for pumpkin carving and ginger snaps)
Using the image on Quaint Living, I drew the picture of the ship on a piece of paper, cut it out, and taped it to Seed. Using the point of a knife, I pierced the edges of the picture to make tiny holes on the pumpkin. When I took the paper off, I used the holes to guide me as I cut out the picture. I didn't want to carve all the way through, because I wanted my ship to glow. So I used a flat-headed screwdriver to chisel out the pumpkin until I could see the light through it. Once I finished with the ship, I carved out stars on the other side, then poked holes all around with the ice pick to make it extra sparkly.
We took our pumpkins to a Reformation Day Party, where they decorated the tables for a lovely dinner out of doors. Note the uncooperative tropical flora.
It was a great party with costumes and pumpkin pie and good friends. The pumpkin contest was held American Idol style, with our three judges making snarky comments. Despite a sudden downpour, the contest held off, and Seed won second place :)