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Subject: Preserving pumpkins

Preserving pumpkins

From: Helena Jaeschke <mrshjaeschke>
Date: Saturday, November 2, 1996
Cathleen Mook <cathy [at] lis__pitt__edu> writes

>I need to know if there is any way to
>preserve, for a relatively long period of time, carved Halloween
>pumpkins. Can they simply be dried? Freeze dried? Is there some sort
>of fixative?

They can be preserved whole provided a sufficient amount of stalk is
left on, for a full winter. Once cut open and carved there seems to
be a race between dehydration and biological attack. Remove as much
of the flesh as possible to leave the tougher rind.  Some options to
try:

    1.  freeze-drying may work, but will require a large freezer and
        may result in distortion,

    2.  standing upside down on a rack in a drying oven (an airing
        cupboard with a hot water cylinder in is ideal). Place a
        tray beneath the rack to catch any juice at first,

    3.  packing with warm dry sand, salt or silica gel and standing
        upside down in a box of similarly filled, which is stored in
        a dry place for several months packing,

    4.  packing with silica gel in a box full full of gel and
        microwaving works for some plant materials (usually flowers)

    5.  how do native peoples dry gourds?

Best wishes,

Helena

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:45
                Distributed: Thursday, November 7, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-45-021
                                  ***
Received on Saturday, 2 November, 1996

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