Pimp Your Pumpkin

LEAF ARBUTHNOT has been getting bonkers in the gip room again, and with Halloween upon us this can only mean one thing: pumpkin preparation. Leaf tells us how to sculpt your squash and what to do with it afterwards.

blender carving cooking Halloween kitchen leaf oven Sainsbury's soup spooky

It’s Hallowe’en!

This year, aside from drawing moles on my face and donning strings of cobwebs, I’m basking in the candle-lit glory of Dennis and Chris, my pumpkin pals. Carving pumpkins can be a schlep, but here’s how to make your squash-sculptures the easy way:

1. Buy a pumpkin from Sainsbury’s (£1.50) – if you’re from Homerton get a small one because the large ones are weighty.

2. With a small, sharp knife, cut its forehead off.

Dennis, decapitated

3. Remove the seeds and scrape out as much of the inside as you can. The more you take out, the easier it will be to carve.

4. Mull over what kind of vibe you want your pumpkin to be pumpin’. Is it friendly? Rude-boi? Terrifying? Mario-esque?


5. Draw a design on the outside with a white board marker or a Sharpie.

6. Cut along the lines.

7. If you’re edgy, paint it with acrylic. If you’re weird, christen it and assign it godparents.


8. On Halloween night, insert two tea-lights into the pumpkin’s hollow and light them. Cackle.

Once your lantern has fulfilled its spook-duties, it would be a shame to hurl it straight to the rats and stick it in the bin. Here are some ideas for giving your pumpkin a second lease of life:

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin flesh from one pumpkin


One leek

One onion

Half a litre of chicken stock


Put the pumpkin and carrot in a blender. Blend for as long as possible. Boil in the chicken stock till softened. Fry the onion and chopped leek till very soft but not brown. Pour the chicken stock with carrot and pumpkin into the blender. Add the onion and leek. Blend. Add two tablespoons of Philadelphia. Slurp.

Roast Pumpkin

Pumpkin flesh from one pumpkin

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh rosemary

Place the pumpkin you’ve extracted in a tray lined with foil. It doesn’t matter if the pumpkin is in thin, spoon-shaped sheaths. Douse with a LOT of olive oil and salt and pepper. Chuck in as much rosemary as you want. Roast on 180 degrees until browned. Consume straight away, or have cold in a salad with goats cheese.