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Go beyond orange to the wacky, warty wild side of the squash family

First Published Oct 23 2013 10:45AM      Last Updated Oct 28 2013 09:41 am

(Keith Johnson | Tribune file photo) Margaret King admires the variety of gourds for sale at the Wilkerson Farm stand at the downtown Farmer's Market at Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City. This season's last Saturday market is this weekend.
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The look » Peachy pink, deeply ribbed and rather squat, with straight sides

Why you want it » A decor smash when paired with other pale varieties.

Magical minis

Little people love pumpkins too, especially those that are the right size for small hands. Try pure white Baby Boo or classic orange Jack-Be-Little, the slightly flattened ribbed charmers ideally sized for a toddler’s grip. For true, round pumpkin form, Little October is the diminutive version of the standard squash. Batwing will thrill younger goblins with its perfect, miniature orange rounds and funky bat-black bottoms; and Lil’ Pumpkemon sports orange stripes over white skin.



Pick the perkiest pumpkin

If you plan on getting out early to pick your pumpkin, choose one that lasts with these tips:

» Strong stems keep the pumpkin fresh, so look for those that are fully attached to the skin. But don’t pick them up by the stem.

» Choose firm, not mushy, pumpkins. Avoid those with cuts in the skin; they’ll rot quickly.

» Keep your pumpkin cool, not freezing or overly hot. Store away from direct sunlight, and bring it in if frost is predicted.

Keep Jack-O-Lanterns jaunty

Once your pumpkin is picked and safely home, keep it fresh and ready for the big night with these tips:

» Wait to carve your pumpkin until one or two days before Halloween.

» Scrape out the walls to a thickness of one inch for easiest carving.

» Immediately after carving, smear petroleum jelly over the interior and cut surfaces to lock moisture in.

» Carved pumpkins will wilt in three days; perk yours up by soaking it in water. Mix one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water to prevent mold from growing on your pumpkin.

 

 

 

 

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