(Or, what to do with your leftover pumpkins now that it’s November!)
Even though the calender has turned past the month of pumpkins, I find that the beginning of November is really when we have to deal with the leftover pumpkins sitting around the house. After all, everyone wants to keep them out for decoration all of October, so now is the time to use them up! Don’t let them go to waste. Here’s a pumpkin watercolor project & accompanying activities to keep you and your kids loving your squash.
In the middle of October, we did a still life of a pie pumpkin that we had not yet cooked up. I was rather pleased with J’s artistic interpretation on this one!
We set up the pumpkin and made observations about it first (texture, shape, color, irregularities, etc.). I had J draw it in pencil first on watercolor paper, then go over his pencil with a sharpie marker. Next, he used watercolors to paint his drawing. I was happy to see that he noticed all the different shades of coloring in the actual pumpkin and tried to represent that in his painting. Not bad for a four year old.
Then came his vine. At first I protested, thinking he was just swiping green all over his paper to be silly, but when he explained what he was painting I had to concede. Pumpkins do, after all, grow on vines. Who can fault him that?
Here’s his finished masterpiece, sitting next to its model. I think a pumpkin still life could be done by a younger child (with mom/dad helping to draw the shapes as needed before painting), and it could certainly be done by an older child too.
Usually, whenever I do any project that revolves around a food item, I also have to eat it. I can’t help it! Here is my absolute favorite pumpkin pie recipe from Mum in Bloom, made without evaporated milk! The texture is super fluffy and light, and I’ve found that I prefer it to the traditional pie recipe. (The only change I made to the recipe is that I cut the sugar in half.)
If you can wait overnight for your pumpkin nosh, try these awesome soaked pumpkin muffins from Katie at Kitchen Stewardship. I usually have bad luck with soaked grain recipes, but these came out perfectly moist and delicious. For this one, I replaced the sugar/sucanat with maple syrup and did only 3/4 cup of it instead of a full cup. I also just used whole wheat flour because that’s what I had. These were great, and the kids liked eating them too.
While waiting for your pumpkin goodies, why not enjoy some pumpkin literature together? We loved The Great Pumpkin Switch last year. Grandfather sits down with his two children, and takes them back in time to his own childhood to tell the tale of when he accidentally send his sister’s contest pumpkin rolling down a large flight of steps… until, SPLAT! He is left scrambling to right his wrong and replace his sister’s pumpkin without her noticing. Beautiful illustrations, a nostalgic narrative, and loving family ties that cross generations all make this book special.
We also enjoyed Too Many Pumpkins, a tale in which Rebecca Estelle (who absolutely abhors pumpkins) is stuck with an overabundance of them due to a fallen pumpkin’s seeds splattered in her yard. An entire day of an exaggerated amount of baking and carving turns Rebecca’s disdain to gratitude and brings a community together in friendship. Well worth the second read.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your support in this way!