Cut out the butt, save the world

This isn’t really a post. I mean, it’s a post. But it’s not saying anything.
Well, it’s saying something, but it’s not really telling a story.

What I mean to say is, this is just another post to link to my Pinterest page, because there is something incredibly important that I need to share with the world and it is this:

Carve your pumpkins by cutting a hole in the bottom, not by removing the top.

Phew. I feel better already.

But seriously, people. It’s a well-known statistical fact* that 98.43% of people cut a hole in the top of their pumpkin, scoop out the insides, carve their squash into a fabulous jack-o-lantern, and then fit the missing top piece back in, like a little pumpkin puzzle hat. That’s all well and good, except for a few very important things:

  • carved pumpkins tend to shrink a bit, including the top puzzle piece, which often becomes smaller than the original opening and slides right back inside
  • the cutting lines on the top can interfere with the creation you’re making, especially if you want to carve anything near the stem
  • you practically sacrifice a finger every time you have to reach inside and light the candle (unless you’re using a battery-operated one, but where’s the fun in that?)
  • when you go to move the pumpkins, you risk knocking over the candle, resulting in singed squash; it’s really difficult for kids to rearrange your awesome Halloween display

* I invented this fact.

Way back when we first began carving pumpkins with our kiddos, I’d read a tip in a magazine (yes, an actual magazine – a publication that I could touch physically, not just read on a screen) that said carving out the BOTTOM of the pumpkin — just removing a square — is way easier. So we tried it… and we’re officially converts. Because it’s 765 times better, that’s why.

See, it’s very simple.

You just tip the pumpkin butt-up and carve a square or rectangle in the bottom (or, really, whatever shape you’d like – I promise not to tell).
pumpkins1
No, I don’t normally hold the knife so strangely, but it’s hard to take a photo of oneself holding a knife properly when you need your right hand to both operate the camera and grab the handle.

Voila! Remove the bottom! No need to save it — you won’t be stuffing it back in there. We’ll leave that to Fifty Shades, thanks very much.
pumpkins2
Another fun fact: without the bottom piece, the finished jack-o-lantern is much lighter than it would have been had you cut off the top and then put it back on, which means your little minions can cart around their own pumpkins. Winning!

But wait! Isn’t it difficult to remove the seeds and stuff with the pointy stem still on?
Nope. Exhibit A:
pumpkins3
Seeds in the strainer were being saved for snacking later.
After they’d been baked. Promise.

But wait! Isn’t it harder to carve the pumpkin with the pointy stem still on?
Nope. Exhibits B, C, D, and E:
pumpkins4
Annie‘s not prematurely graying; her hair had been colored a la candy corn earlier in the day. Duh.

pumpkins7
Which also explains why she chose to make a candy corn pumpkin.
Yes, she really carved the whole darn thing herself. Even the shading part. ‘Cause she rocks.

pumpkins5
Ella originally wanted a snowflake, to go along with her ice witch theme, but she – mercifully – gave up on that and decided to go with a witch hat.

pumpkins6
 Yep. she carved her own pumpkin, too. ‘Cause she also rocks.

So… After they’re carved, if your offspring can’t quite decide where they’d like to put the jack-o-lanterns and want to try out 482 different locations before you pull out every one of your hairs, your kids can just carry the pumpkins around all by themselves, holding onto the stem if it’s really strong?
Sure can. No candle-spillage worries necessary.

pumpkins8
Don’t we just make a happy little threesome.

But what about the candle and stuff? Where do you put it if the pumpkin’s got a hole for a butt?
That’s the best part. You just set the candle down wherever you want it (or use the battery-operated kind if you’re afraid of fire), light it, and then set the pumpkin over it. No burned fingers necessary!

Bonus: you can carve as close to the top of the stem as you want, because you don’t have to avoid the cut-out top. And also, there’s no weirdo light emanating from the creases of the puzzle piece. Instead, moody Halloween lighting comes from the bottoms of the pumpkins, which is oh-so-cool.

pumpkins9
 
Ta da.

So there you have it, world.
Carve your pumpkins from the bottom.
You’re welcome.

It might not solve the healthcare crisis or end strife in the Middle East, but it will make your Halloween oh so much more awesome.

Or at least save you a few crumbled-in, singed pumpkins.

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