Whether you’re decorating for fall or getting ready for tricks and treats, the chances are you’ll want to adorn your home with one of those festive orange orbs – the pumpkin. Did you know, though, that the types of pumpkin you choose for decorating, carving or cooking vary? What makes the scariest jack-o-lantern on the block is probably not going to provide you with the most delicious pumpkin bread, so we provided a quick guide that can help you pick the perfect pumpkin this October.
- Don’t recycle your jack-o-lantern into a pie. First of all, pumpkins that have been converted into jack-o-lanterns experience some decay as they sit emptied out – and some mold growth. Not to mention, the flesh of pumpkin varieties that make the best jack-o-lanterns tends to make stringy, watery pumpkin mash when cooked. And, there’s always that lingering flavor of burned-out candle to think about. The best thing to do with your jack-o-lantern at Halloween’s end is to compost it.
- Choose a pumpkin that’s built jack-o-lantern tough. Let’s face it – a wimpy pumpkin is not going to withstand gutting, carving, sitting out in the elements, and having a hot candle burning inside of it. You need to choose a pumpkin that can withstand the wear and tear. Give the pumpkin you choose a good squeeze – if it has any give or if you feel any soft spots, bypass it. Thick, sturdy stems are also indicators that your pumpkin will be jack-o-lantern ready, too.
- Chunky pumpkins make the best pies… and breads… and cookies. Pick a pumpkin that feels heavy for its size, because that means it has more flesh and less “guts.” The chunkier your pumpkin, the sweeter it will get as it sits, too. This type of pumpkin purchased in October will make your Thanksgiving pie sweet, delectable and the star of the feast.
- Pick the pumpkin variety for the job. Did you know there’s a Jack O’Lantern variety of pumpkin that was developed specifically for – you guessed it – jack-o-lanterns? The white-skinned (but orange inside) Lumina is also great for carving. For cooking, look for Small Sugar and New England Pie varieties. Baby Bear, Baby Boo and Orange Cutie pumpkin types are all perfect choices for outdoor displays.
- Visit the local pumpkin farm for your pumpkins. Especially if you can pick them yourself. Why? Well, aside from supporting your local farmer, you’re guaranteeing that you’ll get the freshest pumpkins available. You’ll be able to choose the perfect pumpkin for the job, and because you’re cutting out the middleman that exists when you purchase your pumpkins from a store, you’ll likely save money as well.
Picking the right home heating contractor is easy, too – when you choose Family Danz to help you stay comfortable. We offer complete HVAC services, and you can rely on us for top-of-the-line plumbing and fuel oil delivery services as well. For all your needs, feel free to call us at (518) 427-8685, and we’ll be happy to help. And if you’re baking a pumpkin pie, make sure to save us a slice!