What better way to see in the season than by gathering friends, family and a pile of big pumpkins…
Once pumpkins arrive you know autumn is really in full swing. Throw a pumpkin party: ask people to bring a small pumpkin as well as the one they’ll be carving.
Carve off the pumpkin tops and fill them with tea lights, votive candles or dried flowers and seedheads from the garden. Send everyone home with their pumpkin vase.
Tell stories as you carve of fancy dress disasters, maybe a ghost story you once heard or simply what the word ‘pumpkin’ brings to mind.
Eat pumpkin*, too – a pie is the obvious choice. But pumpkin and sage lasagne or pumpkin soup make for filling savoury dishes, especially accompanied by a mug of hot cider or two.
How to carve a pumpkin
YOU WILL NEED
Carving tools (a variety of spoons, knives and other tools for decorating
Cookie cutters (use a mallet to pound them through the pumpkin flesh)
Place newspaper over a large table. Pile carving tools in the centre, plus a communal bowl for seeds and filling.
When it comes to carving, there are no rules, just decorate whichever way you fancy.
Extract from Handmade Gatherings by Ashley English. Photography by Jen Altman (Roost Books)
*Carving pumpkins are an altogether different prospect to eating varieties. Come back later this week to find out which types are best in which dishes.