If you’re a longtime reader of this comic, maybe you know that I have issues with seasonal depression. There’s a chill in the air these days, and the sky is darker and darker every morning when my alarm goes off. It’s not here yet, but I can feel it, the gloom, scratching at the corners. I know it’s coming.

But let’s not think about that. Let’s think about all the great things about winter. I actually really love the cold weather, I love boots and scarves and giant scrunchy socks and sweaters. I love snow, I love the smell of a fireplace on a cold day, I love being wrapped up in quilts with snuggly cats and snuggly boyfriends. And I love delicious things that warm the heart and belly on a cold day. When I first moved to Chicago, I lived in a traditionally Swedish neighborhood called Andersonville. Once it turns cold, all the bars there – even the non-Swedish ones, even the Mediterranean restaurants – serve Glögg, a Swedish mulled wine cooked with raisins and fruit and nuts and served with gingerbread. On a cold, cold day, a hot mug of sweet wine can be the most amazing thing.

And while I still eat plenty of chili and soup and ramen and drink plenty of dark beers year round, these are all things that are twice as tasty and restorative when the weather gets cold, and pretty darn effective at chasing off the winter blues.

In related news, GUYS I AM JUDGING A CHILI CONTEST THIS WEEKEND. This is all I have ever wanted out of my career, to be invited to judge food contests. I am only kind of joking about that statement. Come eat some chili and drink some beer for a great cause!