Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

31 October 2006

Odd Halloween Traditions

I left work early today to be here for trick-or-treating prep with the girls. Tandy was working on a new recipe for spicy pumpkin seeds and getting ready to make a fun-food dinner for the girls. The girls and I started working on our number one tradition: pumpkin carving. They discuss how they want their pumpkins to look and then sketch their designs on a piece of paper. I then draw the design onto the pumpkin with a magic marker and we agree on depth, cut styles and so forth. Then I break out the Dremel!

I kid you not about this. I set that bad boy to 5,000rpm and cut open the top. Then I scoop out the guts and seeds and hull it out as much as possible. With a shake of the pumpkin the guts are disgorged, and I set the Dremel to 2,000rpm to start sculpting the outline. This is, by far, the messiest part of the operation. Everything is coated with a layer of pumpkin "dust," which smells like cooked pumpkin and clings like nobody's business. It is easy to see why this dance of excess occurs outside on the back deck. As soon as the outline is sculpted, the Dremel whips into its 5,000rpm whine for the cutouts. These smell of cooked pumpkin is strong the when Dremel hits it at such a high speed, but before you know it blocks are sliding out of the back.

This year I cut out four pumpkins in thirty minutes. Do that with a knife or a pumpkin carving kit! Nothing less than the Binford Pumpkin Carver 5000 will get the job done fast. Overkill? Nah!


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