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And now 10 tips for a perfect pumpkin:
Wash the pumpkin: thoroughly wipe the pumpkin and dry.
Open the pumpkin: Cut a hole around the stalk. Make sure the hole is large enough for maneuvers. Cut the flesh from the pumpkin “cap”!
Take out the insides of the pumpkin: Use a round spoon and take out all the flesh. The peel must be at least 2.5 cm.
Choose a picture: You can buy a stencil in a store, find it on the Internet or draw your own drawing!
Start drawing: Glue your stencil to the pumpkin. Using a toothpick, make small punctures through the paper onto the surface of the peel. Thus, you will not have any traces of a felt-tip pen or a pen on a pumpkin.
Cut time: First cut the smallest pieces. So you begin to feel a hand. If you cut large pieces first, the walls of the pumpkin will not be as strong and it will be difficult for you to cut small pieces. Therefore, later cut the middle parts, and then the largest.
Wash the pumpkin again: When you have finished cutting the pattern, wash the pumpkin again. Inside and outside. Wipe and dry the pumpkin. A clean and dry pumpkin will last longer.
Light the Pumpkin: Place inside a regular candle, not long so that it does not peek above the pumpkin.
Cut the "chimney": When you put the candle inside, then hold it there for 5-10 minutes. Never leave candles in a pumpkin unattended. When the time runs out, lift the lid and see where the black spot has formed. Cut a hole in that place. This will be your chimney. If you do not want to constantly monitor the pumpkin, you can use candles on batteries.
Pumpkin Storage: Rub your pumpkin with Vaseline. So it will not dry out and rot. If you prepared your pumpkin on the eve of the holidays, put it in the refrigerator to "extend its life."
In this condition, it is stored for at least three weeks.
Pumpkin Muffins with Orange Zest and Chocolate
Once upon a time, a legend was born that on the eve of the night of all saints evil spirits come to the mortal world and threaten its inhabitants. In order to somehow protect their homes and themselves, people began to dress up in frightening costumes, and decorate their homes with images of ghosts and other otherworldly paraphernalia.
Over the years, these superstitious actions have become a tradition that we know today as the Halloween holiday. And the main decoration of the house that day, of course, is a pumpkin lantern, nicknamed Jack.
It would seem that it could be easier than cutting a frightening face. However, if you make a mistake and incorrectly prepare the vegetable for drying, there is a risk of quick decay of your holiday candlestick. We have prepared for you some simple tips that will help not only correctly prepare the pumpkin for the holiday, but also save it from rot and bad smell.
First you need to choose a pumpkin with a softer skin. Then the vegetable should be washed well in a soap solution and wiped with alcohol (or vodka). When the pumpkin dries, cut off the top with a knife, and then, using a tablespoon, peel it inside of seeds and pulp, trying to remove as much as possible, but without damaging the skin itself. Then, having shown imagination, you will need to cut Jack's face with a sharp knife.
When Jack is ready, you definitely need to dry the pumpkin well. Use regular newspapers for this. Place them inside and change as they get wet - every 6-8 hours. Keep the pumpkin away from moisture and direct sunlight. A cabinet surface or even a window sill will do (provided that the side of the house is shadowy). The action will take you a few days. Then wipe the inside of the pumpkin with alcohol.
It is much faster to dry a pumpkin with a microwave (unless, of course, the size of the vegetable and the oven allow it). But the main thing here is not to overdo it and not to bake a pumpkin. Put power no more than 600 watts and turn the vegetable every 1-3 minutes. However, experts still advise drying the pumpkin in a natural way, that is, using newspapers.
Next, you will need to try to keep your craft for several days. To do this, we suggest you carefully study several effective ways that will help protect the vegetable from decay and an unpleasant odor.
1. Look for a few bags of silica gel (check the shoe boxes or inner compartments of the bags). This simple way is the simplest thing that could have been invented, because silica gels are used precisely as a desiccant and have a very useful property to remove excess moisture. Remove the granules from the paper bag and gently spread them on the inside of the pumpkin.
2. Bleach. For 1 tsp bleach will need about 4 liters of water. Mix the ingredients and dip into your Jack's fluid-filled solution. Leave it there for 8 hours, then take it out and wipe it dry with paper towels. Then moisturize the pumpkin with a similar solution every day. But after each such procedure, be sure to wipe the craft so that it does not begin to mold.
3. There is still the easiest way to keep the pumpkin from mold and rot. These are special preservatives for pumpkins, which are easy to find in shops with paraphernalia for Halloween.
Well, here is your pumpkin and is ready to become a frightening candlestick. It remains only to insert a candle inside and remember about fire safety.
The reasons why the pumpkin spoils
The intact peel of the pumpkin protects it from various external influences. When a lantern is cut from a pumpkin, fungi, mold and bacteria penetrate into it, which begin to destroy it. Oxygen also gets inside the pumpkin, as a result, during the oxidation process, it spoils, and under the influence of air it simply dries up. All these reasons do not allow you to keep the Jack-lamp in proper form for more than a few days without proper processing.
How to save the appearance of a pumpkin lantern
Prepare a solution for pumpkin disinfection, for this, add a tablespoon of chlorine bleach per liter of water and mix. Pour the resulting mixture into the spray gun and spray the outer and inner part of the lamp with it, not forgetting about the places of the cuts. Allow the solution to penetrate the surface of the pumpkin, then let it dry for 20 minutes.
In addition to spraying, the Jack-lamp can be completely lowered into the bleach solution for several hours, then removed and put upside down to allow excess liquid to drain. Then the lamp should be wiped with paper towels. In addition, from time to time, you can spray the pumpkin with a chlorine solution, which will kill microorganisms that cause its premature decay, and at the same time moisturize it.
Treat all places of cuts and the inner surface of the pumpkin with petroleum jelly. Wipe off excess Vaseline with paper towels. This will maintain moisture and slow down the rate of withering of the pumpkin, and will also help to protect it from new infections by bacteria and mold.