Through all the has been going on, the fact remains that I have three children at home. My girls need stability, love, and laughter. Though we mourn in our own way each day, the girls need some joy, too. Enter the flaming pumpkin.
This beautiful lady is the mastermind behind the project (*waving* Hi Mom!). She doesn’t look like a pyromaniac, does she, with her crafting shirt (from a family reunion held at her family’s cabin in about 1996) and carving concentration? Make no mistake, however, if there is a chance for a safe way to play with matches, she’s your gal. The girls’ pumpkin carving attire was stunning, as well, and perfect for the occasion. On to the start of the show, the gourd!
Start with one large pumpkin, a roll of toilet paper, a jar or kerosene, and a plastic container with a lid that your toilet paper roll will fit inside. The evening before you want to get your flame on, deposit your roll inside the plastic container and douse it liberally with kerosene–use the whole jar. Put the lid on and let it sit overnight until you’re ready to go at dark the next day.
Take off the top of the pumpkin and clean out the guts–a smaller opening on top will make the flames go higher. This is the first year my girls have really gotten too involved in the pumpkin carving–they’ve always been grossed out in the past by the seeds and string inside the pumpkins. Not this year!
Next up, carve your design. You’ll want something with fairly large holes to allow plenty of air flow to your fire source inside the pumpkin, though you certainly don’t have to carve out all sides like we did. My mom and I decided on a simple geometric design because my girls are a little squeamish about Halloween, and I didn’t want anything remotely scarey on this guy.
Now, twiddle your thumbs, clean up the house a bit, and impatiently wait to entertain your inner pyro.
When it’s nice and dark outside, put your pumpkin someplace safe outside with no nearby tinder sources and drop your kerosene-soaked toilet paper roll inside.
Next, fire that sucker up!
It starts out a little slow, but the flames will pick up, I promise.
For us, the fire started licking out through the holes in the side before the column of flame really kicked in. But don’t you worry . . .
Keep small children and pets away, of course, though the raw, fresh pumpkin actually stays relatively cool on the exterior. If you don’t carve all the way around your jack o’ lantern, you may even be able to pick it up and move it once the flames die down a bit.
This stage, however, is all about enjoying from a distance.
The kerosene-soaked tissue will last for well over an hour. May I suggest hot cider and cookies for those of you in cooler climates! Let me know if you get your flame on this Halloween–you’ll be glad you did!