Every year people all over the country look forward to Halloween night. America's scariest holiday, it's also easily one of the most fun. Costumes, candy and a fun night out are all the ingredients you need to have a great time. In the past few years, however, the holiday has undergone something of an evolution. Halloween has gone from being strictly a night for kids to search for candy to becoming a night of parties and soirees and with that elevation has come a new level of decorating. One of the best known and most beloved decorations of the fall season is the carved Halloween pumpkin. You can get a plastic one with a painted-on expression - but where's the fun in that? For the real experience, you need to have a real pumpkin that will let you carve something that is uniquely your own. It's not easy, which is why once it's done you'll want it to last for more than just the night. To preserve your Halloween pumpkin and enjoy it longer throughout the season, read these tips on how to keep a Halloween pumpkin fresh.
How to Keep Your Pumpkin Fresh
- Select pumpkins that are very fresh and firm. Avoid choosing a pumpkin that has bruised or soft areas or cuts or other visible blemishes.
- Store both cut or uncut pumpkins in a cool dry place to keep them fresh longer. You may have a cool basement or room in the refrigerator.
- Remember that warm weather and hot sunlight can speed decay in a pumpkin. If you live in a hot climate be sure to store your uncut pumpkins in a cool spot and wait to carve them until a day or two before Halloween.
- Once a pumpkin is carved, cover it with plastic for a day or two to help keep moisture in the pumpkin.
- Smaller cut pumpkins can be wrapped in plastic and stored inside the refrigerator for a few days before Halloween -- helpful if you are having a party and need to carve them ahead of time.
- The Pumpkin Masters website advises that a shriveled cut pumpkin can sometimes be revived temporarily by soaking it in a bucket of cool water for several hours, then draining thoroughly.
- Cover all cut edges of a pumpkin, as well as the entire interior, with petroleum jelly. This is the best way to reduce moisture loss and keep a pumpkin looking fresh longer.
- Heat from electric lightbulbs and candles can also contribute to the early demise of a pumpkin. Try cutting a hole in the top of the pumpkin, allowing heat to escape.