I may have created a new yearly tradition.
As usual, I had grand plans for Halloween. In my head, I can always get everything done. In real life, I can never accomplish all the things that seem so doable in my mind. Typically, falling behind on projects is due to losing track of time and getting a late start. This year was no exception.
By mid October, I still had my costume to put together and a massive, almost-no-sew, woodpecker costume to complete AND a I was aiming on carving a pumpkin. When carving came up on my to-do list, I ran out and purchased 2 pumpkins for the crew and 1 watermelon for me. I wanted to carve something green, but after last year’s green heirloom pumpkin fiasco, I knew I couldn’t go that route. (FYI, those heirloom pumpkins are hard as hell. Couldn’t even get the top off!) Once I got home, I looked at the calendar and realized costumes were going to have to take priority over carving. So, the guys carved, while I cranked out work on the woodpecker costume.
Days past, then days turned into weeks and my poor watermelon was still sitting on the counter. As I cooked for Thanksgiving, it just stared at me saying “Michelle, please don’t let me just rot here. I need to look pretty before I go to compost.”, so I made it a promise. I asked it to hold out until I could do all my Elfmas decorating and then I would carve it, for sure. Here it is December 2nd and I fulfilled my promise.
I have to say, watermelon was a good choice. Not only is the color better, but they are WAAAAY easier to gut than a pumpkin, less messy, they smell better and yield way more useable meat than a pumpkin. I only hit one minor-ish snag. The more than month old watermelon had gotten a soft spot at the base where it had been sitting on the counter. Didn’t know it until my gutting spoon popped a hole through it and juice began to pour over the counter, down the cabinets and onto the floor. A little cleanup and I was solid.
For the design, I went with a Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat) for two reasons.
A) I like cats.
B) I like lucky things.
That simple! I put both paws up for double luck, let’s see how well it works.
Both the watermelon and the cat took on a special symbolism for me. It’s round about this point in the current year that I start to prepare my plan of attack for the upcoming year. One thing I’m hoping for next year is a resurrection of my old super-intense work ethic and follow through. The fact that I carved this watermelon before it turned to a soggy, rotten mess on the counter gives me hope that I’m on the right track. As for the cat, it is said that a raised left paw attracts customers and a raised right brings money, two things every artist needs. The double paw raise is also said to offer protection, which is always a good thing. So, I raised both in hopes that it offers me a bit of luck and protection. Watermelon carving may be the newest addition to my list of Elfmas traditions.