Ideas for rainy autumn days
Carving pumpkins, cooking, and building pillow forts – we have the best tips for getting cosy on autumn days when not only colourful leaves are falling from the sky, but also rain.
Pumpkin carving: great fun for young and old alike
You can get pumpkins every year from August in any supermarket or at the weekly market. The good thing is that whole pumpkins will keep for several months when kept in a cool and dry place, which means that you can simply buy them and store them away until the right moment comes.
Once this moment arrives, it really is child’s play:
- Clean the outside of the pumpkin
Simply wipe the pumpkin clean all over with a damp cloth and remove any excess mud. Important: dry it well afterwards so that you don’t slip later on when carving it.
- Cut a hole in the pumpkin
Start by cutting a hole in the pumpkin so that you can hollow it out. Tip: if you cut the hole in the base underneath, it will look nice afterwards from all sides and will be more stable.
- Hollow out the pumpkin
Now hollow out the pumpkin – using either a large spoon or your bare hand. Rubber gloves prevent your fingers from turning yellow. You should scrape out the flesh until you are left with a shell between 1.5 and 2 cm thick. This will help the pumpkin to remain stable, but the light can shine through later on.
- Trace the outline of the face
Wipe the pumpkin clean again, if necessary, and then trace the desired outline of the face. Tip: the bigger the areas and the fewer the details, the easier it is to carve afterwards. Otherwise, let your imagination run wild!
- Carve the pumpkin
Now it’s time to start carving: use a kitchen knife or a special little pumpkin carving saw to cut along the traced contours and carefully push out the cut shapes with your fingers.
Tip: if you prefer to work without a knife, you can also just use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes.
- Light the pumpkin
The pumpkins naturally look nicest when lit from the inside in the autumnal evening darkness. Either use the classic tea light here – although these can soon go out if there is any wind and they can also really heat up the pumpkin from the inside. Alternatively, try using LED tea lights or even entire LED fairy lights, which are much more straightforward and allow you to set the right (even colourful) accent.
Tip: Don’t throw away the flesh or the seeds – you can make a really nice pumpkin soup and garnish it with the seeds after washing them and frying them in oil.
Seasonal and home-made: apple purée
Besides pumpkins, apples are also in season in the autumn and can be stored and kept for just as long. Especially when made into a velvety-smooth apple purée – which goes perfectly with potato fritters, pancakes and much more besides. Simply delicious!
What you need:
1 kg organic apples
100 ml water
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
Cinnamon to taste
When choosing the apples, it really depends on whether you prefer sweet or sour. Belle de Boskoop is sour, while Golden Delicious tends to be sweeter and Elstar is a mixture of both. Just try different varieties and see which one you like best!
Here’s how easy it is:
- Wash, quarter and core the apples and cut them into small pieces. If you own a good mixer, don’t peel the apples – the purée will then have a more intense flavour and is even healthier!
- Boil the water, vanilla sugar and cinnamon (if used) with the apple pieces. Then leave everything to simmer on a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then purée it. You can then either enjoy it freshly made or put it into sterilised preserve jars and leave them to cool upside down.
If stored in the dark, the apple purée will keep for several months and provide a real treat throughout the winter months. When packaged nicely, it also makes a beautiful gift.
Build a den and snuggle up
Now the eyes and belly have been taken care of, that only leaves something for the heart: completely relive your childhood by building a cosy den with the help of pillows, blankets and sheets!
When admiring the handmade pumpkins while enjoying a hot cup of tea and waffles with home-made apple purée, it doesn’t take much more to forget the wet autumnal day outside and feel cosy and warm inside. Whether alone with an audiobook or in company for a home cinema evening – there is no chance of the autumn blues putting in an appearance now.
Relax: Persil Service will do the work
You can also completely relax if you know your laundry is in good hands: Persil Service will help to remove pumpkin stains from your favourite pullover as well as splodges of apple purée from the throw. You can find all the information at www.persil-service.de