A giant dungeness crab, with a snack.
The hand is life-sized, but I sure hope the crab isn’t.
Step 1: Body
I used an Atlantic giant for the body and a Long of Naples for the legs, but a wide variety of pumpkins and gourds would work just as well.
The pumpkin I used for the crab’s body was a bit too spherical for a plausible crabbish profile, so I hacked some altitude off the bottom. I ended up using that chunk later... for the snack.
I hacked a bit off of the sides to get a more that trapezoidal look for the carapace.
Step 2: Face
I recommend doing an image search for “crab faces,” for reference and for subject matter for your nightmares.
I dug a seam down the sides and added a few simple cuts, rounded off to make the face.
Step 3: Eyes
Using a small part of the cut-off piece from the body, I whittled some eye stalks, plugged in some bamboo skewers, and smooshed them into place.
Step 4: Claws
The Finest Pumpkin Vending Establishment on the North Coast (organicmattersranch.com) grew a bunch of these awesome “Long of Naples” squash this year: they look like monstrous zucchini but carve like a bright orange cylindrical pumpkin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_moschata The one I used was almost three feet long! First, I chopped it in half.
These squash are usually almost solid except for where they widen at their base, which is where their seeds live. I chopped that bottom chunk in half, and drew some big crab claws.
After whittling away the excess and rounding off all the shapes, I was left with two nice big deadly pincers.
Note: predictably, the girl in the photograph lost a finger. But we were able to recover it in time, and thanks to some talented surgeons, she is expected to make a full recovery.
Step 5: Legs
For the rest of the legs, I sliced the top half of the squash into eight sections, one for each leg.
I repeated the whittling process eight times, making sure each left matched each right, and making each pair smaller so the back legs were smallest.
Note: a round pumpkin with sufficiently thick walls (like another Atlantic Giant) would work great for crab legs too, providing some curvature that I didn’t get with this squash. Maybe I’ll try that next year.
I arranged the legs under the body.
Step 6: Snack
For grossness, I carved a human hand out of the rest of the waste piece I had cut from the body. I used my own left hand as a model, because I’ve found that acquiring an actual severed human hand is just not worth the hassle.
Disturbingly, the hand fit snugly in the claw.
Step 7: Done
won from a careless fisherman, but I’d rather not ask.