Preserving a pumpkin for a few days after it's carved

Ok, so this is technically not a *cooking* question, but is a sort of food question... here's the deal:

Every year for the last 5 years or so I've thrown an all-day Halloween party where I cajole my friends into carving an ever-increasing number of pumpkins. Last year I think we carved 34 (feel free to try and count in the attached photo) so this year the goal is 35. This year though (and the next two) present a challenge -- preserving the pumpkins.

You see, our party will be on Sunday the 28th and Halloween won't be until Wednesday the 31st. If the weather is cold enough the carved pumpkins will likely be fine but the weather is always a crapshoot here at Halloween. Last year is *snowed* on Sunday and was almost 70 degrees on Monday.

I've read up a bit and the options out there seem to be 1) a borax-based spray called "pumpkin fresh", 2) soaking the carved pumpkins in a bleach solution, or 3) spraying them with hairspray. (The goals being to retain moisture and/or retard bacterial growth.)

So, do any of you have tried and true carved pumpkin preervation techniques? Have you tried any of the above? Opinions? Advice?

  • Posted by: Peter
  • October 15, 2012
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Wendiamm October 19, 2012
put vaseline on the cut parts to keep them longer, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the coldest place you can.

Voted the Best Reply!

Nozlee S. October 15, 2012
Peter, we learned something really cool when the Maniac Pumpkin guys came to shoot a video with us -- basically, their advice was not to empty out the pumpkin at all! By just carving the face, from the front you keep the stem intact so that it can continue to stream nutrients into the pumpkin, keeping it fresh longer.

They actually recommended cutting into the pumpkin from the BACK to keep the stem attached, as well as using 40-watt lightbulbs instead of candles!
Amanda H. October 15, 2012
You can rub the cut parts with lemon juice. Or with vaseline. Two very different approaches, obviously!
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