Why is fall an orange season?

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September 20

Why is fall orange? Is it that the leaves start to turn? (if they do turn. If they don’t just turn brown and fall off. If they didn’t do that already.) Is it that pumpkins start to be prominently featured in stores, along with hay bales that never look so good in your own driveway? Is it the gorgeous harvest moon, the full moon this time of year that looks like an Ansel Adams-meets-Andy Warhol photograph?

Is it the awesome orange vegetables that come into abundance now, ones that require extra time on the vines or in the ground to get perfectly sweet and pretty and rainbow-y and so colorful you just want to create a still life in your fruit bowl over and over and over again?

I’m banking on the last one, personally. When I was a kid (which ended approximately 3 years ago – or did it?) “orange food” was any packaged crispy food that left a suspiciously bright orange dust on my fingers after I’d eaten it (just TRY to sneak a Dorito. I dare you. Gloves don’t count. That stuff ought to set off  TSA alarms.) Nowadays, though, my preference is for the orange created by Nature, the kind that doesn’t come with an ingredient list.

Like these fabulous soy-glazed sweet potatoes. So good even my kids will eat them.

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But sometimes, even they go for my old definition of “orange” food.

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