The original Jack-O-Lantern was far from the bright, orange pumpkin of today’s time. Stepped in Irish folklore that dates back centuries, Jack-O-Lanterns were actually turnips or beets, carefully carved and then strategically placed around the home to ward off any trespassing spirits. Often hung from fences or gate posts, these delightful little root vegetables are just as easy to carve, if not easier than an actual pumpkin. Plus, there’s no mess. Consider using the small flameless candles to illuminate.
PROJECT: TURNIP JACK-O-LANTERNS
Sturdy metal spoon or melon baller
1. Purchase turnips that are medium or large in size to ensure enough carving space. Trim away leaves, leaving some stems if desired. Wash turnips and dry thoroughly.
2. Carefully use a knife to remove the top of the turnip. Set aside. Using a sturdy metal spoon or melon baller to hollow out the interior of the turnip.
3. Use a pencil to trace a face onto the turnip. On a cutting board, and facing away from hands use the knife to carefully cut out the face.