Eating Your Pumpkin Jack O’ Lantern

by blackspanielgallery

The pumpkin is a delicious food that can be prepared in many ways. If you have a pumpkin you can have so many excellent dishes from just one, and decorate it as well.

A Jack O’ Lantern is a common decoration on Halloween, and using a real pumpkin allows you to be as decorative as you wish. You can make the Jack O’ Lantern scary, or use a smiling face on it. Regardless, it can also provide you and your family with some tasty treats. Just prepare in advance and the pumpkin can be enjoyed in a number of ways,

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First Collect the Seeds from the Pumpkin

Some people paint the face on a pumpkin, others carve their Jack O’ Lanterns.  When my children were young carving the pumpkin was a fun event that we did every year.  It soon became apparent that the pumpkin could also be eaten.  But, this is a decision to be made before setting the pumpkin out.  Once it is carved no telling what insects will feast within it, so after placing the Jack O’ Lantern outdoors it is too late to harvest the insides of the pumpkin.


Start by selecting a tall pumpkin with rather straight sides. The shorter squatty pumpkins are more difficult to salvage.  Next, remove the top by cutting large circle out, angling the knife inwards as you cut.  This allows you to place the top back on the pumpkin if you desire.  The hole must be large enough to get your hand inside.  Now harvest the seeds, and prepare them for roasting.  The Food Channel has the method laid out and the pumpkin seed recipe.  

Pumpkin Pie

Here is a Pumpkin Pie Recipe


Harvest the inner part of the pumpkin.  The walls of a Jack O’ Lantern do not have to be thick.  The longer pumpkins are easier to cut the usable part of the pumpkin from the inside without accidentally breaking through.  After carving awhile, cut the holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth in the pumpkin and turn it into a Jack O’ Lantern.  The reason for delaying making the cuts until well through part of the harvesting is if you accidentally break through that spot might become part of one of the holes, or might determine the back of the Jack O’ Lantern.  Now, cut as much more from the inside as you are comfortable removing.  You can use the holes you have added to be a guide as to when you are making it as thin as you feel you can.  Place what is harvested into a bowl.  Next, prepare some delicious pies.  I used to get enough out of one pumpkin for five pies, then my wife would stop me.  She had to bake them.  After they were baked we would freeze them, and take one out for Thanksgiving, and another for Christmas.  The others could be used at any time, or given away.


The trick is to harvest what you will eat before placing your Halloween decoration out.  This is the best way to really enjoy one single pumpkin, and eliminates so much wasted food.  I strongly recommend doing this if you plan to carve a pumpkin for Halloween.  So, you really can eat your Jack O’ Lantern.


More Pumpkin Fun Foods

There are numerous different pumpkin cookies you can bake, pumpkin cupcakes, and even pumpkin cakes.  The pumpkin is a truly versatile food.


Pumpkin Cookie Recipe


Pumpkin Cake Recipe


Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe

Other Pumpkin Foods

More Substantial Food

You can opt for pumpkin bread or pumpkin pancakes.  You might not need five pumpkin pies, so make a variety f dishes.  There are so many ways to eat pumpkin.  You can even make a pumpkin casserole.  I am certain this is just the surface of what you can do with this amazing food.  Feel free to add your specialties in the comments below.


Pumpkin Bread Recipe


Pumpkin Pancake Recipe


Pumpkin Casserole Recipe

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Updated: 06/25/2017, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 03/08/2021

I have not used frozen pumpkin other than pies, nor tried pumpkin soup.

DerdriuMarriner on 03/02/2021

Do you use pumpkin rind in soups or do you not use it at all when retrieving edible parts from the jack-o-lantern in progress?
Freezer burn can be a problem. I don't remember experiencing it with frozen pumpkin concoctions because they're all so popular here. What would be the longest you all would store pumpkin frozen, and what would you do if you all decided it was past comfortable, healthy eating?

blackspanielgallery on 09/25/2015

If you do not like frozen pies you can always get a new pumpkin. But, large pumpkins are difficult to use all at once without freezing something.

Mira on 09/25/2015

I like pumpkin casseroles!
I never froze a pie before but your solution makes sense (having then the pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas).

blackspanielgallery on 09/24/2015

And if you cut from the inside ou can get quite a bit more from a pumpkin.

AngelaJohnson on 09/24/2015

I never cut a pumpkin without pulling out the seeds and roasting them in the oven. I to eat them when they're nice and warm (and lightly salted).

blackspanielgallery on 09/22/2015

Both sound delicious.

candy47 on 09/22/2015

I'm looking forward to the aroma of pumpkin pie baking. Pumpkin ravioli too!

blackspanielgallery on 09/22/2015

And it remains available fro Thanksgiving and Christmas.

WriterArtist on 09/22/2015

I can see why pumpkin features in Fall festivals. Perhaps it's abundant presence has made it the key ingredient of Halloween festival. You can easily carve pumpkin, paint and draw pumpkin. If you can't do any of these things, you at least get to eat the pumpkin. This explains it popularity.

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