Summertime and the living is…anything BUT spooky. While I don’t love the heat, I do love other things about summer, like long days, lemonade, swimming and fireflies. But…when you’re a Halloween lover, sometimes summer can feel a bit too long as you’re counting down to the best season of all.
What’s a Halloween lover to do? Create her own spookiness to fit the season, of course.
My favorite Halloween tradition is carving a jack-o-lantern. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the slimy squish of pumpkin guts in my hands, sketching out faces on newspaper and carefully carving the perfect face.
But pumpkin patches, like mine, are nowhere near ready to harvest yet so what’s a spooky little girl to do?
Pick the next best thing that’s in season – watermelons!
Obviously, this isn’t a new idea. Loads of people have carved up watermelons as summer jack-o-lanterns before me, but I thought I would give you a peek inside my process…AND provide you with a delicious watermelon recipe!
How to carve a summer jack-o-lantern:
First, start with a medium to large watermelon. Make sure it will stand up as a pumpkin would!
Cut open the top. I did a jagged pattern, but a straight cut would work too. Keep in mind a watermelon is not hollow like a pumpkin, so you’ll likely need to cut deeper into the flesh of the melon to get it open.
Pull off your lid, and trim away excess melon on the inside of the lid.
The start scooping! I found my ice cream scoop worked extremely well for gutting my watermelon.
All cleaned out!
To make my face, I took my knife and lightly scored the outside of my watermelon before cutting. Watermelon skin is a heck of a lot easier to hack into than pumpkin skin!
Eh voila! A “pumpkin watermelon”, as my niece called it when her mom and dad shared my photo with her.
So cute! Can he stay all summer?
My watermelon was extra juicy, so I rinsed him out and then let him sit in my sink upside down to drain while I worked on my recipe that accompanies this post.
I’d also recommend storing your pumpkin in the fridge when you aren’t enjoying it so you don’t attract bugs.
(P.S. I swear I don’t live on beer, pickles and hummus like this photo might lead you to believe…)
Then, of course, add a candle and enjoy!
So what do you do with your summer jack-o-lantern guts?
My friends Mr. and Mrs. Halloween recently made a watermelon jack-o-lantern too, and I loved their Jack-O’-Melon cocktail they made with the guts.
As for me, I made some delicious watermelon salsa! And because no salsa is complete without chips…I also made some simple Halloween tortilla chips. (A project I’ve been dying to try for awhile now…)
Here’s how I made it:
Gather up all your ingredients.
Dice one cup of red onion.
Chop 2/3 cup of fresh cilantro.
Chop 1/2 cup of fresh mint.
Finely dice 1 jalapeno. I discarded the seeds because I’m a weenie and don’t like super spicy foods. If you enjoy spice, leave in the seeds as you see fit.
Toss it all in a bowl.
Then mix it up and add in 4 cups of diced watermelon.
How gorgeous is that?
The aftermath! This is blood and guts I can handle.
Allow your salsa to stand in the fridge overnight so the flavors meld together. While you’re waiting for that magic to happen…here’s how to make your own Halloween tortilla chips!
Grab 15-20 tortillas, depending on size of the tortilla and how many chips you want to make, and some Halloween cookie cutters. (I only did 5-6 since I made these for one person and had plenty!)
Cut out your shapes.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until chips are golden brown…
…or crispy brown!
Don’t these look delicious?
A perfect summer snack!
Nothing says summer like a summer jack-o-lantern!
Will you be carving a summer jack-o-lantern?
By the way, if you’re looking for more ways to make summer spooky…don’t forget to check out my Halloween beach party post!
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