This is how the perfect Halloween pumpkin succeeds

Homemade Halloween pumpkins round out the spooky event. © Pexels

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The Halloween festival on October 31 has long been established in Germany. Aside from spooky parties, spooky masquerades, and horror movie nights, fans outdo each other year after year when it comes to decorating ideas. Always there: the Halloween pumpkin. Making it is fun for the whole family – but there are a few important things to consider so that the first idea becomes a real hit.

Preparation is everything

The most important question of course should be clarified from the beginning: Which pumpkin is best suited for Halloween decorations? The answer is quite obvious: Hokkaido pumpkin. Not only is this type the ideal size; the pumpkin will later find a stable base in the ground. Hokkaido should currently be available in any well-stocked supermarket – otherwise you’ll find it at the weekly market or farm. When choosing tools, sharp knives or craft cutters are appropriate, and older children should only use them for supervised carving. Ambitious pumpkin artists with unusual ideas rely on a special pumpkin carving set.

three pumpkins in a meadow
Stand firm: Hokkaido pumpkins are ideal for Halloween craft fun. © Pexels

Let the fun begin!

In the first step you need to open the selected pumpkin by drawing a jagged or round cap on top and then cut it with a knife or cutter. Hold the tool at a slight angle to prevent the lid from falling into the pumpkin. If you also leave the stem standing, later the pumpkin can be opened and closed more easily with the “handle”. And now it’s time to empty: the loose meat can be removed with a large spoon. Then leave a border two to three centimeters thick.

a woman carves Halloween pumpkins with two children
With the right tool and a lot of instinct, you can handle the pumpkin. © Pexels

Which grimace would you like?

There is no limit to creativity when choosing a motif! Draw different faces on the pumpkin with water-soluble pens or use the useful sets of templates from the web, which you can print in advance and stick to the chosen place. There are many templates for this. By the way: If you pierce the shell along the lines with a needle or fingerpick before cutting, it will be easier to cut accurately later.

two spooky Halloween pumpkins in the dark
Halloween pumpkins have many faces – if you want, you can use a template when carving. © Pexels

Will the pumpkin last long enough?

A real bummer: As soon as the Halloween pumpkin is carved, its expiration date begins. There are various “house tips” to prevent entry too early. It starts with the correct placement of the spooky decoration: ideally, the pumpkin finds a cool, dry place. Also rub the cut ends and the inside of the pumpkins dry with kitchen paper, otherwise the fruits and vegetables are susceptible to mold growth. Some Halloween fans also swear by rubbing the edges with Vaseline, while others recommend rinsing them with vinegar water. Spraying the outside with hairspray should also make Halloween Hokkaido more durable. Caution: Be sure to let the pumpkin dry completely before placing a candle in it – fire hazard! For this reason, as an alternative to a tea light, we also recommend electric candles for later lighting.

Halloween pumpkins on a bench
If you want to enjoy the decorative pumpkin a little more, you should give it a cool and dry place. © Pexels

Leftovers from the festival

The question remains what to do with the scooped out pulp. There are several options! In addition to the classic pumpkin soup, vegetable dips, bread or chutney are also a great tip. A delicious pumpkin puree as a second course is also suitable for autumn. For four people you need:

1 pumpkin (about 1.5 kg)

500 grams of potatoes


3 tablespoons of butter

200 ml of milk

freshly ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Peel the potatoes, wash, quarter and boil in a large pot for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and clean the pumpkin – cut the flesh into cubes and add it to the potatoes after about 10 minutes.

Now heat the milk and butter. Drain the pumpkin and potato mixture and puree. Then mix the milk-butter mixture and adjust the puree with salt, nutmeg and lemon juice. Serve with a little butter and fresh pepper if needed.

two hands cut the flesh of the little pumpkin
There is no autumn without delicious pumpkin dishes: the variety of recipes is huge. © Pexels

Cores can also do something

Pumpkin seeds are healthy and almost as nutritious as nuts (potassium, zinc, vitamin E). Their oil, for example, is considered an aromatic specialty, while whole grains process many dishes. How about a pear and radichi salad, for example? For two people you need:

4 slices of baguette

2 bunches flat-leaf parsley

200 grams of cottage cheese

salt and pepper

2 teaspoons medium hot mustard

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

2 spoons of honey

6 spoons of oil

2 pears

80 g of radicchio

2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds

Toast the baguette slices in the toaster; Chop the parsley and mix half of it with the cottage cheese. Then salt and pepper.

Mix the remaining parsley with the mustard, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper and oil. Then cut the pear into pieces and cut into pieces and fry for two minutes.

Finally, clean the radicchio, cut into pieces and serve with pears and sauce. Decorate the salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and spread cottage cheese on the bread.

a ready-made pumpkin soup
Ideal for refining soups and salads: It is worth keeping the pumpkin seeds. © Pexels

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