What do you do when you live in Singapore, you absolutely love Halloween and a proper pumpkin costs $35+?  Well, when in the tropics…

It seems these guys have grown in popularity over the past year, which is great, because not only are there now more instructions and samples online, but I don’t have to make any unnecessary links or references to Martha Stewart.  Wait…oops. 

Anyway, my little orange army was so well received last year, that I was commissioned to make a few again for a community fair I was working at last weekend.  Luckily, this gave me the opportunity to document the technique for you: 

1.   Draw a pumpkin face on your orange(s) using a pencil and press hard.  This time I used a mechanical pencil without the lead and found it worked quite well.  When you make your design, keep it simple- it’s pretty tricky cutting out those little pieces. 

2.   Cut off the top of the orange and use a spoon to scoop out the insides.  Though not nearly as bad as a traditional pumpkin, this can still be quite a mess.  I’ve had the most luck digging the spoon a bit into the rind and often the wedges pop right out.

3.   Use a sharp paring knife to carefully cut out the face you drew.  I’ve read that you can use a “small craft knife” but darned if I know what that is or of anyone who has one [ohh Martha…].

4.   Then, I like to clean up the orange-o’-lantern by scraping the inside of the cut-outs with a small teaspoon.

5.   Fill with goodies and you have an army of tropical-style jack-o’-lanterns!

Suggested Fillings:
o    grapes, berries or other fruit pieces
o    assorted candy (candy corn works well, especially when it spills out the mouths)
o    a tea light candle (at your own risk!)
o    this version fills them with an interesting chocolate fudge (suggestion: find a way to work in some of the orange juice- don’t orange and chocolate go well together?)

o    I didn’t end up lighting these as planned because they wouldn’t stand on their own.  The oranges will stay upright with other fillings, but you will want to find a way to weigh them down if you plan to put candles inside.
o    Last year I froze the oranges because I carved them the night before the party.  As a bonus feature, it turned out that the frozen oranges let off a spooky fog in the dark for first half hour or so of the party.
o    After gutting, the insides are kind of a mess, but it doesn’t have to be wasted.  Last year I squeezed all the juice out and used it in my slimy punch.  (This year, we just ate it…)

o    The original version of these calls for filling them with orange sorbet.  This would be great if you have a couple of kids or a small dinner party unless you really like carving oranges.
o    I thought this was an instructional video.  Turns out it’s just a really funny 
      non-gutted orange-o’-lantern.

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