In the spirit of our Halloween-themed week, I put my pumpkin carving skills to the test! Always one to seek out creative alternatives to standard practices, I tried my hand at carving pumpkins with a power drill this year! Using a drill is a simple way to achieve impressive results. I came up with three different drilled designs: a simple graduated polka-dot pattern, a (sort of) traditional jack-o-lantern, and an intricate star-burst. I love the way my pumpkins turned out and if you follow these easy steps, I am sure you will too!
You will need:
Marker or pen
Drill and drill bits
Graphic Template (optional)
Nail, thumbtack or awl
Tea light candles
1. Carefully cut a circle around the stem with a sharp serrated knife and gently remove. Be sure to cut at an angle so the top won’t fall in when your hole is complete.
2. Clean up the top by cutting off the seeds.
3. Remove pumpkin innards and scoop out the flesh until the inside of the pumpkin is completely clean. *Save the seeds from this step for roasting! Recipe below…
4. If you want to make a specific design (i wanted a star-burst effect for one of my pumpkins), sketch it out on paper first to use as a template. Then tape the paper to the pumpkin and poke pilot holes along the lines of your template, tracing the design onto the pumpkin using a thumbtack, nail or awl. You can also freestyle it or use a pen to mark out a geometric design, a classic jack-o-lantern, or randomly spaced dots!
5. Using any size drill bit you prefer (I used 3 different sizes), carefully begin to drill your holes. The more holes you make the more the light will shine through!
6. Clean off your pumpkin using a damp towel. If you’re slightly neurotic like me, you can use q-tips to remove any residue from inside the holes.
7. When you are finished, place 3 tea-light candles (real or flame-less) inside each of your pumpkins and light.
8. Place the tops back on the pumpkins and enjoy!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1. Place the pumpkin seeds in a colander and rinse them with water to separate the seeds from everything else.
2. Pat seeds dry with paper towel
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F
4. Toss the seeds with olive oil until lightly coated and sprinkle with sea salt to taste
5. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan in a single layer
6. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds.
7. Keep an eye on the pumpkin seeds so they don’t get over toasted. When lightly browned, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack before eating.
I prefer my pumpkin seeds simple and salty, but the possibilities are endless. Try mixing them with old bay, soy sauce, paprika, or even a bit of chili powder!