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Last night I broke out the foot duvets. They’re cozy little foot-shaped down comforters for your feet that keep them warm. They also make you look like a Smurf, but a toasty warm Smurf. Also, a Smurf who spent too much money shopping on Gilt. But I know when I dig them out of storage it’s officially fall-to-winter. Pounding those tomato slices with a meat tenderizer won’t make them yield juice or flavor, and it’s time for really spicy food. 

Spicy food has the magical property of warming you up in cold weather and cooling you down in hot weather. Actually my theory is that it just distracts you from extreme temperatures and makes your mouth happy enough to not be all pissed off you’re sweaty or freezing. 

Might I suggest the five spiciest lunches I’ve ever written about? 

And three of our spiciest recipes, just to play it safe:

Plus my favorite hot sauce, to top it all off. 

Editor’s note: For severe heartburn, locate Eno fruit salt, found online at any Indian or Middle Eastern grocery. Works like magic, as does the ghost chili sauce for invoking said heartburn.