You’ve got the carving knife, a stencil (that you’ll never tell the neighbors you used) and a trash bag for all the seeds. Now, you just need the pumpkin to turn into a jack-o’-lantern.
Use these tips to find the right one:
• No soft spots: Check for blemishes and signs of decay. It won’t last long, otherwise.
• Shapes matter: Oblong pumpkins can be better for some designs, particularly faces. No matter the style, a flatter bottom makes it easier to carve.
• Knock, knock: If you hear a hollow sound when you knock on it, it’s ready to carve.
– Dan Stefano, The Pittsburgh 100