Halloween isn’t really celebrated in Australia, except as an excuse to have a fancy dress party. There is a little trick or treating but it is rare and we certainly do not decorate for Halloween as they do here in the US. So this means tomorrow will be my first real Halloween!

In honor of this J. and I decided we would make a jack-o-lantern… when I say we decided, it was more that I told him we would do it. Since he hadn’t carved one since college I thought this could be lots of fun. I know this is a food blog and this isn’t really a food topic but pumpkins are food so I figured it was close enough, plus it is my first Halloween.

We bought ourselves a mini orange pumpkin weeks ago when I was first inspired. We went small since we didn’t want to make too much of a mess and also who knew how it would turn out.

J. had seen a funny jack-o-lantern cat face on a t-shirt and this was the design that inspired our own cat-o-lantern. I free-hand sketched the face onto the pumpkin, hoping that the black marker I used would wipe off and noone would see all the mistakes and it wouldn’t look like a jack-o-lantern with a mustache.

Next came the cutting…

We had such a small space to work with we had to be careful cutting the top of the pumpkin. I gave J. the honor of this since I didn’t want to stuff it up. He did a great job but the opening was so small I had to squeeze my hand in to be able to pull out the pumpkin guts.

Strangely and surprisingly the hardest part of the entire cat-o-lantern was getting the fibris guts out of it… We used our hands, knives, spoon and fingernails to claw it all out. It took quite a long time and the fibris parts seemed almost impossible to remove. Eventually we got most of it out and started on the carving.

I started with just the nose and then handed the knife over to J. for the trickier ears and eyes. It actually started to look like I thought it should look and more importantly we hadn’t yet stuffed it up. I really was expecting it to come out looking completely strange.

Last up was the mouth. This was the trickiest because it was curved and we were just using a small paring knife. There were also the 4 teeth we had to avoid cutting off. Of course J. got this job because there was a high probability I would chop of my finger or cut my hand in half! I don’t have the best knife skills and I am clumsy, not a great combination for pumpkin carving.

J. did an awesome job with the mouth and the face was finished. Now we just had to clean it up a little. There were still dangling pits of pumkin guts we had to scrape out so that they didn’t catch on fire. I also managed to wipe off all the black marker so that it didn’t have a mustache or eyeliner.

We held our breath as we lit the candles we had squeezed into it. The cat-o-lantern was a success! It lit up beautifully, it looked like a cat and most importantly nothing caught on fire!!! What a success. I was so happy with my first pumpkin carving attempt. J. couldn’t believe we had managed not to make a mess of it. Now I just have to hope that we get some trick or treaters tomorrow night to appreciate our hard work!!!

  1. That was your FIRST jack-o-lantern??? It is a perfect, traditional one! I hope you had fun!

  2. rosekat08 says:

    Did you oven roast the seeds? That is my favorite part 🙂

  3. Hush, Charlotte says:

    I love Halloween. It’s my favorite. Dressing up & decorating pumpkins… So fun!

  4. NS says:

    Thanks for checking out my blog! Comments and feedback always appreciated! :))) yours is great too

  5. Anita Mac says:

    Great pumpkin. Hope you got to bake the seeds – love roasted pumpkin seeds!

  6. So excited you are getting to see Halloween American style! I really miss how into it people get! Hope you had fun!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is great!!! He’s so cute but so evil looking!!

  8. pattyabr says:

    nice jack-o-lantern
    my husband and I were in Australia 25 years ago today. You are right about the Aussies and Halloween, not as big a deal as here. Our son lives in Australia now I’ll be interested to hear what he thinks about the day.

  9. snati001 says:

    Really cute cat-o-lantern!

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