Its almost that time of year again – Halloween. Different cultures all over the world see the night differently but in Canada it is increasingly being seen as a good excuse for a party and a bit of scary fun. And just because your home is for sale does not mean you can’t get into the spirit of things by adding a little spooky – if subtle – decor.
There are a lot of decorations and scary extras available in the shops right now but its the scary Jack o Lantern that is most prominent and, for home sellers the most appropriate. Adding Jack O Lanterns to the porch or entry will add a little festive cheer without being offensive or over the top.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a pre-made pumpkins though, it is easier than you might imagine to make your own. Here’s how:
To begin you need a good sized pumpkin. Some stores do actually sell specially grown ones designed for Jack O Lantern use, but as long as the outer skin is in good shape, any pumpkin will do.
Cut off the top of the pumpkin with a sharp knife, making a hole large enough so that you can then take a spoon or an ice cream scoop and scoop out all the pulp. If you are feeling very creative you can save the pulp to make a pie later (recipe to follow)
You can create Jack O’ Lantern magic using a sharp but small craft knife and a bit of imagination. Here are just a few ideas that are relatively easy to execute and will actually add to the curb appeal of your home for sale rather than detract from it.
Jack O’ Lanterns can be stylish rather than scary as these leaf pattern pumpkins prove. The cutouts were based around leaf tracings and a simple votive candle inserted in the center adds a soft, welcoming glow that visitors should find more charming than creepy.
Double Duty Jack O Lanterns
One of the challenges for the homeowner selling their property in the colder months in terms of curb appeal is a lack of life. Life as in flowers and shrubs, as most of those have faded away for the season, often leaving things looking very bare. These carved pumpkins are a great idea in such situations as not only do they add a subtle scary season touch but also serve as a vase for some great autumn blooms that will bring a little natural color back into the equation.
This is another fabulous curb appeal enhancing Halloween decor and it does not even call for knife skills! The pumpkins were spray painted, as was the thrift store find planter to create an entrance way display that also provides the homeowner with a creative and clever way to ensure that drive by home shoppers don’t forget their house number!
Making a Pumpkin Pie
Remember all that leftover pulp you saved? Here’s how to turn it into a tasty pumpkin pie with ease. Bake one up and offer it to your home shopping visitors and you’ll certainly make a lasting (good) impression.
1 9 inch single crust pie shell
220 g packed light brown sugar
8 g all-purpose flour
3 g salt
4 g pumpkin pie spice
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
Mash pumpkin pulp, spoon into an oven safe dish and bake at 165 C for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large bowl, slightly beat eggs. Add brown sugar, flour, salt, 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and evaporated milk. Stir well after each addition.
Pour mixture into the unbaked pastry shell. Place a strip of aluminum foil around the edge of the crust to prevent over browning.
Bake 10 minutes at 230 degrees C then reduce the oven temperature to 175 C. Bake an additional 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove the strip of foil about 20 minutes before the pie is done so that the edge of the crust will be a light golden brown. Cool pie, and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
Serve with whipped cream for the best taste!