It seems a pity that pumpkins are only available for a couple of months each year and even sadder that we buy them to cut them up and display them for a day. Halloween should be a longer celebration. I always spray mine with an antidesiccant or antitranspirant, so they last a couple of extra days. Then I move them to inside to use as candle holders, until they have undeniably started to decline.
I don't feel guilty about carving jack-o-lanterns with the pumpkins I have. Good carving pumpkins don't usually make good eating pumpkins. You can use whatever you have on hand, but good carvers tend to be stringier than the dense fleshed cooking pumpkins. Here are my tips on how to choose a great pumpkin for carving or for eating.
Photo: © Marie Iannotti