Most families do. I’m not a big fan of the mess myself, so I generally never carve, but we did every year, when I was a young girl.  One of my all time favorite snacks is *Pumpkin Seeds.  So if carve, always remember to save the seeds for baking. Yum!

Make a Jack-o’-lantern

For this project, ask a grown-up to do all the cutting and carving. After the top of the pumpkin is cut off, scoop the pulp out with a spoon. Save the top to use as a lid and the seeds for your snack.

Next, draw on the eyes, nose, and mouth with a felt pen. These can be cut out, or just cut the skin and peel it off.

For ears, add leaves, small gourds, or halves of a green pepper. You can use a carrot or a red pepper for a nose. Hold these vegetables in place with toothpicks.

You can light your pumpkin with a candle or a flashlight. Put the top back on and your jack-o’-lantern is ready.

* Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Ingredients

* One medium sized pumpkin
* Salt
* Butter

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut open the pumpkin and use a strong metal spoon to scoop out the insides. Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse the seeds.

2. In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a half tablespoon of salt for every cup of water (more if you like your seeds saltier). Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

3. Spread about a tablespoon of melted butter over the bottom of a roasting pan. Toss, to coat the seed. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan, all in one layer. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 10-20 minutes. When browned to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Let the seeds cool all the way down before eating. Either crack to remove the inner seed (a lot of work and in my opinion, unnecessary) or eat whole.

May Jack-o-lanterns burning bright
Of soft and golden hue
Pierce through the future’s veil and show
What fate now holds for you.
~Author Unknown

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