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How to make a Jack-O-Lantern
and eat it
Take one pumpkin, one grown up, a sharp knife, and a scary design.
To make your lantern:
1. Place pumpkin on a large cutting board.
2. Hollow out the top. Cut a wide circle around the stalk, and pull it out – this is your lid.
3. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a big metal spoon. Save the seeds – they're great roasted with a pinch of salt and spice.
4. Use a knife to loosen the inner flesh of the pumpkin. Scrape a good layer out, use your spoon to help. Don't throw it away though – it'll make a brilliant soup or cheesy gratin.
5. Draw your design on the skin with a pen. Carefully cut through the lines (with a sharp knife) and push out the pumpkin bits.
6. Pop a tealight inside the pumpkin, light it up and place the lid on.
To make your soup:
1. Sizzle a finely chopped onion and garlic clove in olive oil till glossy and soft. Roughly chop the pumpkin flesh. Add it. Season well. Sizzle till it's pretty much turned to mash. Taste. When it's delicious, it's ready. Add a touch of sugar to bring out the sweetness if needed.
2. Pour in enough chicken or veg stock to just cover. A dash of sherry is also good. Let it bubble up, then whizz till smooth. Add a drizzle of cream and some herbs or spices (sage is nice). Amazing with cheesy soldiers.
3. Gently press a chocolate eye into the centre of each slightly cooled cake. It'll melt a little but that adds to the effect. Delicious warm or fully cooled. They'll keep for 2-3 days, though we've never seen them last that long!