My mother is up from South Carolina for the Thanksgiving holiday, and we’ve had a lovely time with her, essentially hunkering down inside the house since Northern winters (even the early, mild parts) don’t work well with Southern immune systems. (She got pneumonia after a Christmas visit up here a few years ago). I was intending to add some distinct Southern touches to the Thanksgiving dinner, but I couldn’t find any fresh okra or collard greens last weekend, so I settled instead for doing a good Sausage Stuffing. Who needs celery and raisins and other icky water group items in their stuffing when they can have nice crispy bits of Jimmy Dean sage sausage drifting about in their gravy instead, right? It was greasy and wonderful, and we ate it two nights in a row. I used up all the white meat leftovers Friday night by making a nice creamy turkey noodle casserole, but the bone-gnawers in the family (my mother and my daughter) still opted to suck the gristle and marrow and dark meat off of the bits of carcass that survived the first meal. (I have to admit that that’s one of the few Southern traits I’ve abandoned since moving northward). Marcia also made her signature pecan praline pumpkin pie (yes, it’s pecan pie and pumpkin pie . . . all in one pie!), so we’re all well-fed, sleek and glossy as the weekend winds down. I’ll do two trips to the gym tomorrow to atone. I need it at this point.