When I found this ad (by chance, natch), I suspected that there’s more to an Ann Page Bean Bake than meets the eye. And I don’t mean the dish’s invisible ingredients (onion, oregano, and “salad oil”). I mean the phrase “brown October.” It comes from John Greenleaf Whittier’s 1866 poem “Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl”:
The mug of cider simmered slow,This poem of course was once beloved, wildly popular stuff. (And no doubt still is, here and there.) I assume the ad involves an allusion, meant to be recognized. You can keep brown October’s Bean Bake, but pass the cider and nuts, please.
The apples sputtered in a row,
And close at hand the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.
Alkalize with Alka-Seltzer (and James Russell Lowell)
Blue October (and Helen Hunt Jackson)