How to Enjoy Carving Pumpkins with Small Children

In my naivete’ as a young mother (many years ago), I would often save the pumpkin carving for Halloween night.

Because small children jacked up on chocolate in layers of netting and green paint isn’t stressful enough.
I’ve since learned that pumpkin carving can be enjoyable—–under the right circumstances.
::And here are those circumstances::
You need not go to a certifiable pumpkin patch. One of our local churches has made their front lawn into what for all intents and purposes is the perfect pumpkin patch. And it’s right in town. There are no farm animals or funny smells. And it’s close to TCBY.

TCBY makes children compliant and agreeable if not down right giddy.


Take your perfect pumpkins home and quickly get those seeds out, wash them thoroughly, removing the stringy mess of pumpkin-stuffs. Preheat your oven to 275 and spread your pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a pan —ready for roasting.
Then sprinkle my new friend ‘Jane’ liberally over the seeds and roast for 45 minutes—shaking the pan periodically to keep them from browning too much on one side. I was introduced to ‘Jane’ by a new blogger friend and I can’t wait for you to meet her on Sunday as she kicks off our 12 Days of Handmade Christmas with a wonderful tutorial. I know, the suspense is killing you.
But you’ll just have to wait.
After they finish roasting, pour them into a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil and add more Jane’s to taste. Only after you’re enjoying your wonderful–popcorn like- pumkin seeds with a tasty beverage (Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade for me) may you continue your carving duties. This little treat will have the same effect on you that the TCBY had on the children. Now everyone’s happy and agreeable.


Carving pumpkins has never been so good.
For those of you who aren’t sure how you feel about christians celebrating Halloween, you will enjoy this segment by Jennifer Roback Morse on IssuesEtc. For those of you who would love to poke fun at my southern accent (when I called into to Issues today as they were interviewing Gene Veith about homeschooling), click here.

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  • Darcy @ m3b says:

    I'll take a Mike's too!

    We spent today at one of those pumpkin patches with tractor rides and animals. And goats. And rabbits.

    And hand sanitizer. ;)

  • Kim @ NewlyWoodwards says:

    I was introduced to Jane through Darby at Fly by my window. It's the best. I use it on everything. =)

  • duchess says:

    Thanks for those tips – we're planning on carving ours tomorrow.
    I need to stock up on the leomonade & jane's first.

  • Meme says:

    Hi Edie!
    Love this post cuz I just lived it… we went to a farm for our pumpkins and almost passed out @ the price of 3 pumpkins – so I used eveything – we made roasted seeds (they go quite nicely with Lambrusco sangria's if you run out of Mike's HL) and lots of pumpkin bread, muffins and pies. We carved them way too early – mold central within 24 hours….now we will take your advice and buy them up the street…next to Ben & Jerry's…

  • The Garcia Family says:

    Hi Edie!
    This will show you just what a dork I am, but I have to compliment you on your grammar! I have read so many comments on internet forums and blogs that say "for all intensive purposes" instead of the correct "intents and purposes" that you used. How refreshing! Ok, I'm off my soapbox now. Whew, thank you for letting me get that off my chest….

    I truly wish I could carve pumpkins with my little ones, but mine are aged 4 years, 2 1/2 years and 10 months. I have a feeling they would lose interest after working on the pumpkins for 5 minutes. Perhaps next year…. Until then it's nice to see you do it!

  • Catherine Anne says:

    Great post!

  • Hopefull says:

    love Gene Veith – love Issues Ect.- thanks to you! which is even better than Janes ;)

  • Kathy says:

    I am going to attempt carving a pumpkin for the frist time this year…with littles:)

    Listened to you on Issues…Oh!! You are so very Southern :) Your comment was sooo perfect-concise, well rounded and poignant. You did a great job of showing that your homeschool day is in fact academic but also pointed us to why we are doing this and the beauty of a mother's love. I am so honored and proud of your representation of us!!

  • Sheri says:

    we forgot to buy a pumpkin. (sigh) Oh well…no biggie! (By the way: Mike's…MMMMM! My hubby is Mike and when we buy Mike's at the store our receipt says "Mike's beer" which just cracks me up every time. Okay I'm easily amused. And it's NOT beer!))

    Back to my point. You have been duly awarded:

  • Darby says:

    Edie, You're too much! I love all the advice! If I could just get my kids healthy enough to actually leave the house! Jane's… on pumpkin seeds…. oh yum!! Working on my task!! :)

  • Tiffany Harper says:

    I love carving pumpkins! And I LOVE roasting pumpkin seeds. Fun fun!

  • Molly says:

    HA HA you made me laugh when you mentioned the Mike's Lemonade. I will have to get me some of that Jane's Crazy Salt looks yummy. Have a happy Thursday!!
    ~Molly P

  • Marie says:

    Hello sweet Edie – thank you for this post! Love all the cute pumpkins. And yes, frozen yogurt makes everything fun! We are looking forward to our pumpkin carving tomorrow.
    I listened to the Halloween segment you suggested and got a lot out of it. A few years ago our family "hid" in the back bedroom on Halloween night and tried to ignore the doorbell even though we always had the porch light off. But then it hit us that we don't need to hide and we started participating in the evening. We make little candy bags for the trick-or-treaters and attach a verse to it "taste and see that it is good". We socialize with our neighbors and have a good time. This excerpt from Gretchen is really good. I printed it out and will share it with some of my friends who have been on the fence.


  • Ruth says:

    Great post!! Love the idea of TCBY before picking pumpkins and roasted seeds with Mikes lemonade after.


  • Mandi Shandi says:

    Just yesterday I was trying to figure out how to roast pumpkin seeds. Looks like I'll be busy later this afternoon doing just that!

  • Cate says:

    love the TCBY angle! ;)

  • I really like it when individuals come together and share ideas. Great blog, continue the good work!

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