carved squash centerpieces
November 2, 2010 § 38 Comments
Just when I thought I’d seen enough squashes and gourds adorning a Thanksgiving table, I came up with an idea of carving butternut squashes into beautiful flowers. I’ve always fancied the butternut squash for its shape, color, and density (apart from being so incredibly delicious!). Butternut squashes are adorably unique. They also happen to have a substantial amount of flesh, are considerably less hollow than most gourds, and make for a divine base for carving.
What’s best is that butternut squashes are overly abundant and inexpensive this time of year. I got mine at thirty-nine cents a pound. I spent a miserly $2.40 on this entire centerpiece arrangement. For a couple of bucks, half an hour of time, and a striking conversation piece, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this beautiful project.
You will need as many butternut squashes as you’d like and a paring knife. I bought three medium-size squashes weighing two pounds each. It takes only ten minutes to carve each one, so carve as many as your table and schedule can fit! Just make sure these are carved on the morning of your party and kept in the fridge until your table is ready for setting.
1. Using a paring knife, peel the skin in six sections at about 1/8″ in thickness until you get to the bulb of the squash (about 3/4 down) and the peels are hanging.
2. Continue carving a second layer of six slices (petals). It’s best to carve in such a way that the peaks made by the previous cuts are now in the middle of the new cuts.
3. Carve a third layer of six petals.
4. Carve a fourth layer of six petals (by this time the petals are much smaller). Cut the center flesh into a short stump.
5. Carve the center until it is rounded.