Halloween is less than a week away and we STILL don’t have our punkins – a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the 4, 6 and 8-year-old little ones in our house.
When we finally make our trek to the market to get them (soon boys, swear!) we’ll use these tips to help pick the best of the bunch.
How to Pick a Perfect Pumpkin
- For Show: A mature pumpkin will be difficult to scratch, bright orange, have a green stem and be fully hardened. A shiny skin indicates that it was picked too soon. Also check for scaring, soft spots and bruises.
- For Painting: The best pumpkins for painting have smooth skin and shallow ribbing. The varieties Orange Smoothie, Cotton Candy and Lumina are great for this purpose.
- For Carving: Choose a pumpkin with structural strength, a flat bottom, sturdy stem and the ability to last several days after being carved. (It will sound hollow when tapped.)
- For Eating: Look for a pumpkin that feels heavy for its size, an indication that it will have more dense, edible flesh. Popular “pie pumpkins” include the Small Sugar (also known as Sugar Pie, New England Pie and Northern Pie), Winter Luxury, Cinderella, The Cheese and Golden Cushaw.
And speaking of eating, check back here every day from tomorrow (Oct. 26, 2011) through Halloween next Monday for great recipe ideas using pumpkin. From sweet and savory treats to pumpkin-infused cocktails, I’ll give you the scoop!