Students in the Lancaster County CTC’s Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts Programs plunged their knives into glistening flesh again and again….making adorable jack-o’-lanterns! The Culinary programs at the Lancaster County CTC volunteered to produce dozens of carved pumpkins to support Hershey Gardens’ annual Pumpkin Glow that will be held on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 8:30 pm.
Carving a face out of pumpkins might not be a skill that is needed every day in the Culinary world but overall carving techniques are not only useful, they are required to the program.
“The carving is definitely a part of the Showpiece skill that the students need to work on,” Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor Chef Tracie Gotshall explained. She said that, for the pumpkin carving, the students used all of the usual, and some a bit unconventional, carving tools – knives, spoons, templates, plus wood and clay carving tools – to develop their jack-o’-lanterns.
The students themselves had their own advice for carving a Halloween-worthy pumpkin. Alex Briggeman, Full-day Culinary student from Ephrata School District said that he always has a plan for doing the carving. “I always use a stencil to get the detail correct. I don’t like using a freehand style and just see what happens. I prefer the results you get using a pattern,” Alex explained.
Daelyn Mendenhall, Full-day Culinary student from Penn Manor School District, stressed safety. “You’re working with sharp knives and peelers. People, especially kids, need to be really careful when carving. Kids should always be supervised,” Daelyn said.
Over the course of a few hours, the students created dozens of pumpkins, ready to go to Hershey Gardens for the Pumpkin Glow event. Anthony Haubert, Communications & Public Relations Manager with the M.S. Hershey Foundation, said that the non-scary, Halloween-themed Pumpkin Glow is Hershey Gardens’ biggest annual event and volunteers from across the region carve and donate the featured pumpkins.
“One of the most impressive parts of the Pumpkin Glow is the sheer amount of jack-o’-lanterns on display. We rely on volunteers like the CTC students to share their talents and they do a great job,” Haubert said.