Pumpkin Carving

Posted about Larry Edward Orcutt by Doug Orcutt on Oct 23, 2014 | 1 comment


Pumpkin carving was a family event when I was growing up. We would all help spread out the newspaper on the table and take turns scooping out the “guts”. Then someone would volunteer to sketch on the design with a black sharpie. Cutting the design out was always the moment of most unrest. It wasn’t because we weren’t adept with knives.  We weren’t adept with dull knives. For some reason we never seemed to have a sharp knife in the house when it was time to carve. Dad would wield this huge knife to start with, get frustrated, move on to some newer steak knives, and then usually settle on an old knife with half a handle. As kids we knew it was best to stand back when the carving started.

Last Halloween I was carving pumpkins with my wife and two little kids. We were snapping pictures at every step of the process. I started to chuckle when the carving began though…not a sharp knife to be found! I started with the big knife, then a steak knife. I even came close to digging out my dremel tool, but then I found an old knife that seemed to work well with the dangerous “duck and plunge” approach. I laughed, because I know better. Dad always told us that a job is easier if you have the right tool, but for as many years as we had that tradition, we never invested in a good knife.

It’s no secret. They make pumpkin carving knives that are specially made for carving, nice sharp blades and even some with a deep saw tooth to avoid the dangerous overshot. They aren’t new to the marketplace. You can buy them in almost any store this time of year. I’ve never bought one and neither did my dad. In my father’s defense, I don’t think these knives were around when we were kids, but me, I have no excuse. It’s not a major tool investment, but it does require a little planning. You do need to buy one before you are actually staring at a sharpie covered pumpkin on the kitchen table.

Well, I am happy to report that I am the proud owner of a pumpkin carving set. I can’t take credit.  My wife bought it last week. And though our carving may be a little less entertaining this year (maybe a bit safer) it won’t be the same. I will still always  think of my dad when it’s time to carve that pumpkin.

One Comment

  1. It’s that time of year again and I love reading this as much this year as I did last year. This could be as much a tradition as carving and remembering Dad. That’s why I love this site! Thanks Doug.

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