On the day after Halloween, Isaac and I made a quick trip to Lowe's, looking for a couple of things for a science project, and he found some little pie pumpkins in the gardening section. He really wanted to make them into pumpkin pies, or so he told me. I agreed to buy two of them, and he came home a very happy boy.
When we got home, he informed me he wanted to carve the pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns. That was not in my game plan for the day, so we compromised on him drawing faces on the pumpkins with marker. He got Abbie to help them, and they had a great time with their faces. I'll leave it to you to determine which child drew which face.
As soon as they were done, Isaac was instantly ready to carve the pumpkins. Do you know what he brought out for us to use? His child-safe knives, and children's bowls and spoons from Ikea. Bless him, he did, in fact, carve his own pumpkin with his little knife (to which he referred as his "chainsaw"). I was impressed by his perseverance and results! (I did have a larger knife and bowl for my own use, as well as a real spoon. Cowardly of me, I know.)
We both sat out on the driveway and carved our pumpkins. Isaac wasn't at all grossed out by the pumpkin guts, which was nice, because my girls have been known to be squeamish. He helped me get all the seeds out, too, without complaint. He did let me take over and finish up his pumpkin towards the end, and I was glad he did, because he was busily cutting it into rather small pieces, and the instructions I had said to cut the pumpkins in half to bake them.
Once the pumpkins were baked, I ran the flesh through a Foley food mill so we'd have puree for pies. Isaac was very clear that we would be making pies from our pumpkin, not muffins, bread, or cookies.
I had never cooked pumpkins before, and honestly, had never been inspired to try. This was fun, though, and even though it was a bit labor-intensive, I'm glad Isaac talked me in to getting the pumpkins. We ended up with lots of seeds for roasting, and about 3 cups of pumpkin puree after all was said and done. I'll try to remember to post pictures of the pies when we bake them.
One more picture: one of our kittens, Percy, decided he REALLY likes cooked pumpkin! He begged for it, and even growled at the other kitten when she came over to see what he was eating, in case she was missing out. She sniffed it and quickly backed away as if offended by the odor, and Percy was left to finish it all by himself. I have had cats who would eat some strange things, but pumpkin was a first! Perhaps it's because he's a pumpkin-colored cat?