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Pumpkin-carving secret: How to clean out those gooey insides easily

Halloween means pumpkin-carving. Festive folks of all ages love to pick out their favorites from farm stands or pumpkin patches and haul them home to create silly, spooky, or stupendous jack-o-lanterns.

In our home, as in many others, we spread reams of newspapers on the kitchen table. Then we rinse off our fresh pumpkins and dry them with paper towels before going all creative.

One of the grownups cuts a cap off each pumpkin and then steps aside to let the younger ones dig into the fun part. Kids plunge their hands into the sticky, slimy pumpkin guts with glee. They dump the stuff all over the newspaper.

Eventually, though, someone has to scrape out all the stringy remains inside each pumpkin before the carving begins. A well-cleaned pumpkin tends to last a lot longer than a still-gooey one.

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Sure, plenty of Pinterest users have passed around posts that trumpet the apparent merits of spraying pumpkins inside and out with a bleach-and-water solutions. Perhaps the proverbial jury is still out on that.

In our house, we can be pretty perfectionist about cleaning out pumpkin guts. But we have a handy little secret. We use a melon baller.

That's right. It's the same kitchen tool we use to make summer fruit salads and melon-filled fruit cocktails.

The one we like best is the OXO Good Grips Melon Baller. Its almost-sharp edges are super for scooping out all the remaining gooeyness, leaving a pumpkin pristine and ready to carve, sculpt, etch, or otherwise adorn.

Some folks like to have a variety of sizes of melon ballers, so plenty of pumpkin scoopers can join the fun at once. VK Tech has a nifty three-piece melon scoop set with a trio of sizes.

Norpro has a stainless steel scoop with a swift little squeeze handle that cleans out the scooper part.

However you slice it, the melon baller is key to quick and easy pumpkin cleaning.

Be sure to save those seeds, so you can whip up your pick of these easy and delicious recipes for roasting Halloween pumpkin seeds.

Happy pumpkin carving!

Jack-o-Lantern by ImmanuelGiel
public domain
Pumpkin Seeds by Bradbeattie
Creative Commons Licensing
Wikipedia Commons Photos

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