My advice, as one who knows is to arm yourself with rubber gloves, a melon baller and a short bladed very sharp knife. Pumpkin carving is most definitely not a child friendly activity and does not, as I had once envisaged constitute an all inclusive, family bonding craft activity.
My advice would be to cut some paper to the size of your pumpkin and get your children to draw their designs and scary faces on paper and then cut them out these designs can then be modified as required and transferred to the pumpkin for you or a responsible adult to carve.
This in turn raises the annual dilemma of what to do with all of the extricated pumpkin flesh.
For the past few weeks, all media have been awash with every imaginable pumpkin recipe.
Here are a few of my favourite pumpkin recipes:
Roast Pumpkin Seeds
- 250g plain flour
- 50g salt
- 140ml water
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- Few drops of food colouring (optional)
- Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and oil.
- Knead well until mixture is smooth about 10 mins. You might need to add a bit more flour or water until the consistency is smooth but not sticky.
- Add food colouring and knead until the colour is fully blended.
- Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until chilled enough to use
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- half a cup of salt
- food colouring (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a plastic container and cook for one and a half minutes in a microwave. Stir the mixture and microwave again for one minute.
Gluten Free Playdough
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup corn flour
- 1 cup salt
- 4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Food colouring
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat until all is combined well and a dough consistency is reached.
Let it cool completely before giving it to your child to play with.
Store the dough in an airtight container such as a plastic bag or box, and keep it in the fridge. Like this the dough should keep for up to 2 weeks.
Children really enjoy play cooking, so provide rolling pins, plastic cutters and plates, items from the kitchen can be just as much fun as expensive cutter sets and tools.
Playdough is easier for young children to handle than plasticine or clay and these homemade playdough recipes provide fabulous cheap alternatives to the shop-bought varieties.
When a new baby arrives in a family older siblings can often feel left out, why not make a batch of playdough as a gift for the new big brother or big sister, or even offer to make it with them! As a sibling gift it is perfect alongside Babyblooms pyjama cupcakes and better still when both are accompanied by real edible ones!
These recipes are the tried and tested favourites of the Babyblooms team, but we would love to hear of any variations that you have used.