The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

November 2, 2012

Put pumpkins to use in many different ways

(Continued)

• Get illuminated. Turn hollowed-out mini pumpkins into candles. Melt soy wax, beeswax or the gel type of candle wax that can be found at most craft stores. Add your favorite scent and place a wick into the bottom of the pumpkin. Then pour the wax into hallowed-out space and allow it to harden. Try the same thing with bumpy and multi-colored gourds for added decorating appeal.

• Turn the pumpkin into a flower pot. Fill a hollow pumpkin with soil. You may not have to worry about scraping the pumpkin completely clean because the pulp can be used to help fertilize the potting soil. Plant your favorite fall flowers into the festive and earth-friendly flower pot. When the pumpkin shows signs of rotting, simply put the whole thing into a traditional flower pot or bury it directly in the ground.

• Make pumpkin stock. While vegetable or meat-based stocks may be the standards, pumpkin can be used to make stock as well. Clean out the seeds from the stringy guts of the pumpkin and put the guts into a pot filled with water. Add celery, carrots or any other aromatic vegetables for extra flavor. Allow to boil for at least 30 minutes. The stock is ready when it begins to change color. Strain and reserve the stock for use in a variety of recipes.

• Add to compost bins. Pumpkins are rich in zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C, among other nutrients. You can add the discarded pumpkins to your backyard compost bins to further replenish the soil.

• Turn into a billowing cauldron. Instead of a standard jack-o’-lantern, put a glass jar into the carved pumpkin, add dish soap and hot water to the jar and then put in a piece of dry ice. Bubbles and smoke will pour out of the pumpkin to create a spooktacular effect.

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