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Tutorial: Carrot Jack-O-Lanterns

I’m sure many bento enthusiasts can agree with me that mini cookie cutters get to be a sickness after a while. And they’re such a pain in the butt to clean, especially out here in Hawaii where everything rusts so quickly (practically overnight, I swear!). I tried out something new with a pin, seeing if I could do this without needing a cutter. Turned out pretty good!

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I started off by thinly slicing a carrot (which was chosen for being particularly fat) and then putting those slices in my vegetable steamer with some water. I suppose mine isn’t technically a steamer since it’s just a bowl with a lid and some holes, but it does the job nicely anyway and I don’t have to use the stove. A steamer like this is probably even better.

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Here you can see the various stages of carrot, with the left being the slice, the middle being the carved jack, and the right being the decorated jack. You might be able to tell that I left the skin on, as I didn’t think that peeling it would be needed, but it turned out that the peel was annoyingly hard to remove, so I recommend peeling your carrot first. Be sure to make extras in case you mess up!

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The rest is fairly simply. You use the pin to cut the carrot into the shape of a pumpkin, then decorate with nori. I tried carving a face out with the pin, but that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped and I found myself with three really goofy looking carrot jack-o-lanterns.

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Definitely not recommended! (though the straw-cut eyes look pretty good)

Next week is Halloween!

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