It’s that time of year when we’re busy planning a scary design for a spooktacular carved pumpkin.
Why do we carve pumpkins? To scare away the wicked spirits of course! The sight of these ‘Jack O’ Lanterns in cities, towns and villages across the country is a mark of the season. And a great chance to get creative with spooky, scary, funny, or, if you’re anything like Sargon, beautiful artistic designs.
Amazingly, up to 24 million pumpkins are bought by UK households each year, with many of them grown in this country, which is a positive.
But after the spooky celebrations are done, many people throw the pumpkins away. According to Business Waste, around 18,000 tons of pumpkin waste goes to landfill, where it takes up to 20 years to decompose. Realistically, none of the pumpkin needs to go to landfill, you can
What can I cook with pumpkin flesh?
Richard’s favourite dish is the classic pumpkin soup. It’s easy to make, tastes great and you can add your own twists, a pinch of chilli, some smoky salty bacon, sweet apples.
Richard’s basic recipe (eight servings):
- Soften three medium diced onions and four chopped garlic cloves in a mix of olive oil and butter over a low heat.
- Add 2kg or so of chopped pumpkin and add two litres of stock of your choice.
- Bring slowly up to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the pumpkin is soft. This should be around 20 minutes.
- Blend the mixture to your preferred consistency and season to taste.
- Add a dash of cream just before serving with warm, crusty bread.
Other dishes are the famous American pumpkin pie, or you could use it with pasta, in a cake, or to create a yummy pickle. The BBC Good Food site has lots of brilliant ideas.
What to do with the rest of the pumpkin?
Ideally chop the pumpkin up and add to your compost bin. It will decompose in weeks, and you can use it to improve your soil for the next growing season – win win!
However, please don’t leave pumpkins out for wildlife. There’s been an increase in people taking used pumpkins to woodland, thinking they are doing the right thing. But in fact, pumpkins are really not good for wild birds, or animals like hedgehogs, foxes, deer and badgers.
And the tealights?
Well you’ve come to the right people. Tealights are the safest candles to use with carved pumpkins, although as with any candles, if indoors or outside near flammable matter, these shouldn’t be left burning unattended.
Once Halloween is over, simply collect your old tealights and send them to us or drop off at a local recycling point. Why not put a box out asking for people to drop their used tealights in, so you can recycle for your local neighbourhood?
Enjoy carving your pumpkin – bugs and hisses to you all!