I haven't lived below the Mason-Dixon line for seven long, very cold years. But, as other Southerners may tell you, absence only makes the stomach grow fonder. Did I care much about deviled eggs and fried chicken when such delicacies were at my fingertips (and in my fingers)? Definitely not. But somehow, I now find myself craving—and overindulging—in Southern fare. Of course, it doesn't help that nearly every hot new restaurant serves some ridiculous version of a frickle, cornbread fritter, or ham-laced collard greens. This week, as you might've seen on my Instagram feed (follow me @jcfairchild22), I gorged myself at 2(!) potlucks. For the first one in Chicago (on left)—held in honor of my new friend/fellow Southerner Sarah's 30th birthday—I whipped up some flavorful Bloody Mary deviled eggs. The other feast was held in Raleigh for my sister's boyfriend's 50th birthday (on right). And after all that, I still find myself bookmarking comfort food recipes, like the ones in this slideshow, to test out ASAP. So my stomach may go on strike, but with a wedding diet behind me and a long, likely cold winter ahead, I say bring on the bacon!