Carved pumpkins are part of the basic Halloween equipment and ensure the right mood. But like any other food, the pumpkin is perishable. So that you can have fun with the funny pumpkin faces even longer this year, we have six simple tips to extend the shelf life of the pumpkins.
Which pumpkin to carve?
Such a pumpkin is a nice thing, especially on Halloween. Because it tastes not only delicious, in the form of cracks from the oven or as soup, but can also be carved into creepy faces. The following varieties are best for this:
All large, orange-colored pumpkins that are suitable for carving are referred to as Halloween pumpkins. They mainly belong to the group of garden pumpkins such as “Rocket”, “Aspen” or “Early Harvest”. But giant pumpkins such as the “Rote Zentner” are also suitable for carving scary faces. Ornamental pumpkins are not so good for grimaces and creepy faces because they are too small for that. But you can still hollow them out and use them as decorative lanterns, for example.
Pumpkin is an uncomplicated vegetable that can be kept for up to eight months if stored in a cool place. However, if it is carved out and turned into a Halloween pumpkin, it will significantly reduce its durability. The reason for this are bacteria that work in the pumpkin as soon as its protective shell is damaged. In other words, as soon as we have made funny faces in the pumpkin with the knife, it turns from one of the most durable edible plants into a vegetable that threatens to spoil quickly within a few days. To protect the pumpkins from the mold for a period of time (max 14 days), you can preserve them using the following methods.
6 tips for the durable Halloween pumpkin
Tip 1: wash the pumpkin. Wash the pumpkin thoroughly before using the knife. This will prevent small microorganisms and bacteria from attacking the inside of the pumpkin as soon as it is cut. Since the pumpkin should not be eaten, use a mild soapy solution.
Tip 2: Use a preservative protective spray (pumpkin spray). With just a few ingredients, you can make a spray at home that will make the pumpkin durable. For this you need:
100 ml hydrogen peroxide
100 ml of water
10-20 drops of lemon oil
To make the pumpkin last longer, you need to hollow it out. To do this, remove all of the pulp. Make sure to use well-cleaned tools for this! Then spray it from the inside to preserve it. Don’t forget the interfaces, because these two have to be made durable. If this is too time-consuming for you, you can also use acrylic varnish or hairspray. You proceed in the same way.
Tip 3: Another great trick to keep the pumpkin fresh as long as possible is the following: Make a mixture of water and lemon juice, in a ratio of 1 to 1. This should fill a bucket into which the hollowed-out pumpkin fits. Put it in the mixture and let it steep for about half an hour. The acidity of the lemon juice works to destroy any leftover organisms that cause the pumpkin to decay.
Tip 4: Apply a protective layer of Vaseline. Vaseline not only cares for our skin, but it also protects that of the pumpkin. If the interfaces are sprayed with the protective spray and also smeared with a layer of Vaseline, the pumpkin will last significantly longer.
Tip 5: Even if you use diluted bleach, you are killing organisms. Carefully spray the pumpkin with it or place it in a sufficiently large bucket with the bleach and water mixture. This should be so big that the pumpkin is completely covered with the liquid.
Tip 6: Pure nature – some swear by drying the pumpkin for preservation. It is hung up so that the moisture evaporates. But that means that this has to be tackled many weeks before carving because the pumpkin has to dry out as a whole. Once it has been hollowed out and or otherwise scratched, the process of decay begins. With a giant pumpkin, however, that is not possible in terms of time. Try this method with smaller Hokkaido or ornamental pumpkins – these contain less liquid anyway.