TA­BLE DEC­O­RA­TIONS

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - GARDENING -

Small, oval­shaped gourds are easy to con­vert into tem­po­rary vases for ta­ble dis­plays. Cut off the tops, scoop out the flesh and dec­o­rate with sea­sonal flow­ers and fo­liage. at Restau­rant An­drew Fair­lie, Gle­nea­gles (the only restau­rant in Scot­land with two Miche­lin stars), grows ‘Musquée de Provence’ and ‘Ghost Rider’ for cook­ing; for carv­ing she rec­om­mends the or­ange jack-o’-lantern types ‘Har­vest Moon’ and ‘Mars’, as well as the spook­ier White Ghost or Snow­ball.

CARV­ING PUMP­KINS

Choose a suit­ably shaped pump­kin with a flat bot­tom. Pro­tect your work sur­face then, us­ing a marker pen, draw a cir­cle around the stalk, for a lid. Al­ter­na­tively, cut a hole in the base or at the back. Make sure the hole is big enough to get your hand in­side to scoop ev­ery­thing out. A short, sharp, ser­rated knife with a point is best for saw­ing through the flesh.

Work slowly to avoid cut­ting your­self and keep dry­ing the knife so it’s less slip­pery. If you cut an open­ing in the top, try to an­gle the blade to­wards the cen­tre of the pump­kin so you cre­ate a lit­tle ledge to sup­port the lid. Scoop out the seeds, then cut into the flesh un­til it’s about 2.5mm thick in the area you wish to carve. You can keep the seeds for toast­ing. Sketch out your de­sign then draw on the pump­kin with the pen or use your sketch as a sten­cil, lightly pierc­ing the

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