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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6781 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6781 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  08:48:37 AM  Show Profile
I have a pot of collard greens on the stove, and I got wondering why I have always heard and called it a "mess of greens". So, I googled it. A "mess of greens" is a southern states and Texas term mainly used for collard greens. The size of the "mess of greens" depends on the size of the family.

Mess comes from the old French word that means a portion. It then came into old English and found its way into southern states and Texas for collard greens.

Are there terms you grew up with or is local to your state that you know how they came to be used.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 - Feb 2019 - Oct 2023

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.

nubidane
True Blue Farmgirl

2859 Posts

Lisa
Georgetown OH
2859 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  10:16:04 AM  Show Profile
Ha! Thanks Sara! Last winter my friend was at a local grocer and green beans were on sale. She called me and asked if I wanted any. I said "Sure!" She said "how much?", and I answered, "A mess" She was so confused. I finally just told her maybe enough for a crock pot or so. LOL. I will have to show her this.
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6781 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6781 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  10:45:46 AM  Show Profile
Lisa, a mess of green beans works for me. I've only heard it preferred to greens, but I guess it could be any vegetable sold by the bunch or weighed by the handfuls.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 - Feb 2019 - Oct 2023

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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StitchinWitch
True Blue Farmgirl

2132 Posts

Judith
Galt CA
USA
2132 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  11:11:22 AM  Show Profile
When military people living on base or a ship go to meals they calling it going to mess. I always wondered where that term came about.
I do love a mess of greens. Chard is my favorite.

Judith

7932 FGOTM 6/21
I'm old and I do wear purple
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nndairy
True Blue Farmgirl

2988 Posts

Heather
Wapakoneta Ohio
USA
2988 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  12:26:13 PM  Show Profile
I've never heard of a mess of greens before - probably because I've never eaten them LOL! Thank for the info, Sara!

~Heather
Farmgirl Sister #4701
September 2014 Farmgirl of the Month


"The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment" - Yogi teabag
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MaryJanesNiece
True Blue Farmgirl

6668 Posts

Krista
Utah
USA
6668 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  12:46:44 PM  Show Profile
I haven't heard of this term either. And off the top of my head I can't think of any terms we use here like that. I will have to keep thinking.

Krista
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6781 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6781 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  1:46:03 PM  Show Profile
Judith, I remember now about military mess. I googled mess of greens so it didn't mention the military mess. Local grocery stores don't carry chard but I do like it. I have grown it in containers. I may try it again this spring.

Heather, one of these days you may want to try collards, mustard, or turnip greens. As the old folks used to say "they are so good for you". I giggled when I wrote that last line because now I am one of the old folks. lol

Keep thinking Krista, you'll come up with something.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 - Feb 2019 - Oct 2023

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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Nancy Joplin
True Blue Farmgirl

175 Posts

Nancy
Ontario California
USA
175 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  6:01:27 PM  Show Profile
Hi, All!

In the military the term mess comes from an old term meaning "enough food form one meal".

Nancy 8352
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nndairy
True Blue Farmgirl

2988 Posts

Heather
Wapakoneta Ohio
USA
2988 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  6:04:16 PM  Show Profile
Sara - LOL! I might just have to do that. I eat my greens as salads and never think about trying to cook them.

~Heather
Farmgirl Sister #4701
September 2014 Farmgirl of the Month


"The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment" - Yogi teabag
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StitchinWitch
True Blue Farmgirl

2132 Posts

Judith
Galt CA
USA
2132 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2024 :  11:55:21 PM  Show Profile
if you try them, spinach, chard, and beet and turnip greens cook the fastest (in that order) -- 20 minutes or so; collards take a couple of hours and tastes best with some onion, bacon, and a splash of vinegar added. Kale is a popular thing now but I really don't like it much, either that or I haven't learned to cook it properly.

Judith

7932 FGOTM 6/21
I'm old and I do wear purple
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Wanda Sue
True Blue Farmgirl

1112 Posts

Wanda
Murrells Inlet SC
USA
1112 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2024 :  01:40:41 AM  Show Profile
Thank you Sara for bringing this up. I have heard this all my life and my grandmaw was a great cook. My mom on the other hand, only cooked from cans. So my first introduction to collards and turnips was from a can. The turnips were tiny white cubes the size of peas mixed in with slimy greens. So I never would touch Grandmaws or anyone else’s, which I’m sure were so much better. As an adult I do love raw spinach in salads, and would love for someone to share exactly how you prepare the collards, because I know they are very healthy.

A day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel.

Farm Girl #3677
FGOTM August 2022
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6781 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6781 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2024 :  06:05:38 AM  Show Profile
Wanda, here's the basics for cooking collards, mustard, and turnip greens. The cooking time will vary because as Judith said collards takes hours where the other green take much less.

Depending on where you get your greens you may have to wash them several times. The grocery store where I get mine the collards are clean so one washing is all that's needed. I wrap the washed greens in a clean flour sack towel to dry.

Remove the center big stem and discard. Stack several leaves and cut them in half or if really big leaves cut in thirds lengthwise. Then slice the leaves across 1/2" to 1" thickness. Repeat until all leaves are prepped for cooking.

Collards can be cooked with smoked ham hock, salt pork, or bacon. Yesterday I had none of the above, so I sautéed sliced green onions (any onion will do) and 3 garlic cloves in olive oil. Added the prepped collard greens and distilled water to cover, salt to taste. Bring to a boil; cover; and cook on low. Yesterday I cooked the collard greens for 4 hours because the leaves were large and I like my greens very tender. I did not miss the pork and the olive oil, green onions, and garlic made the greens tasty.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 - Feb 2019 - Oct 2023

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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Wanda Sue
True Blue Farmgirl

1112 Posts

Wanda
Murrells Inlet SC
USA
1112 Posts

Posted - Jan 20 2024 :  10:42:44 AM  Show Profile
Thank you so much Sara!! That’s exactly what I needed, details, lol. No one has ever explained it better, thank you!

A day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel.

Farm Girl #3677
FGOTM August 2022
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criley
True Blue Farmgirl

85 Posts

Connie
Eldon MO
USA
85 Posts

Posted - Jan 21 2024 :  7:30:19 PM  Show Profile
We always called the military cafeteria the mess hall!

In my "neck of the woods" we refer to greens as a "mess of greens" also!

(Neck of the woods might come from the British/Scottish word neuk which means corner; so "my neuk/corner of the woods" possibly originated in early American when settlers were laying claim and describing their various parcels of land.)

Coni



Farmgirl Sister #4938
Livin' the Life of Riley
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6781 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6781 Posts

Posted - Jan 22 2024 :  05:37:57 AM  Show Profile
Connie, I've heard that express, in my neck of the woods, all my life and now I know how it came to be. Thanks for sharing.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 - Feb 2019 - Oct 2023

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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StitchinWitch
True Blue Farmgirl

2132 Posts

Judith
Galt CA
USA
2132 Posts

Posted - Jan 22 2024 :  12:35:22 PM  Show Profile
It's said in my neck of the woods, too.

Judith

7932 FGOTM 6/21
I'm old and I do wear purple
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Red Tractor Girl
True Blue Farmgirl

6506 Posts

Winnie
Gainesville Fl
USA
6506 Posts

Posted - Jan 25 2024 :  09:51:16 AM  Show Profile
Sara, I have heard that same expression down here in Florida for any sort of fresh garden greens. It is unique way of expressing the abundant greens that grow well for us in the cool months.

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
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shennandoah
Farmgirl in Training

49 Posts

Shennandoah
La Vernia TX
USA
49 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2024 :  8:14:11 PM  Show Profile
You may want to check out the book “From the Family Kitchen.” It’s part food history, part genealogy. It explains where some terms come from. It also shares how most vital records for women before the 20th century were almost nonexistent. Often our only record of our grandmothers was from their recipes. It’s also interesting how food trends and even documenting recipes has changed over time, and can reflect an era not just a region. I highly recommend it.

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katmom
True Blue Farmgirl

17000 Posts

Grace
WACAL Gal WashCalif.
USA
17000 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2024 :  2:55:40 PM  Show Profile
Sara,, Grandma Jackson from Mississippi called 'em Collard Greens,, and dad who was career Army, would bring us to the 'Mess Hall' for special occasions when the Cooks were prepping meals for special occasion...(Thanksgiving)

Ahh the things we learn!!!



>^..^<
Happiness is being a katmom and Glamping Diva!
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katmom
True Blue Farmgirl

17000 Posts

Grace
WACAL Gal WashCalif.
USA
17000 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2024 :  2:58:58 PM  Show Profile
I grew up with "ToiToiToi'' (sounds like toy toy toy)
My German mother would tap 3 times on a surface and say this,, it had dual meaning, luck be with you, and bad luck avoid you"...

>^..^<
Happiness is being a katmom and Glamping Diva!
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MaryJanesNiece
True Blue Farmgirl

6668 Posts

Krista
Utah
USA
6668 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2024 :  11:40:19 AM  Show Profile
Sara, I finally thought of one. We have a dish here called funeral potatoes. Not sure how many know of this. Basically it's cheesy potatoes, but is referred to as funeral potatoes because it is often associated with the meal served after funerals. There hasn't been a funeral that I have attended that didn't have funeral potatoes. I don't recall ever hearing them called anything else other than funeral potatoes. My extended family will even serve the funeral potatoes at other potluck style events, not just funerals. But they are still called the same.

Krista
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6781 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6781 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2024 :  12:25:27 PM  Show Profile
Krista, I knew you would come up with something. Haven't heard of funeral potatoes but I know most ladies tend to bring the same dish for all the after-funeral dinners or even for potluck.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 - Feb 2019 - Oct 2023

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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MaryJanesNiece
True Blue Farmgirl

6668 Posts

Krista
Utah
USA
6668 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2024 :  1:16:42 PM  Show Profile
Sara, I have a couple friends who used to live out of state and say the same thing. I would get the weird look when I would say the name, but then they say they have eaten them before once I describe what it is. They are actually very yummy. My favorite variety is the one with corn flakes on top.

Krista
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Jokamartell
True Blue Farmgirl

1407 Posts

Karen
Kennewick WA
USA
1407 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2024 :  3:07:30 PM  Show Profile
Krista, That’s the name of the recipe that I have…It’s called cornflake casserole! :) it’s so yummy!! :)

Karen :)

To quote one of my past preschoolers “Not one of those Karens, but a good Karen”! Haha
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levisgrammy
True Blue Farmgirl

9230 Posts

Denise
Beavercreek Ohio
USA
9230 Posts

Posted - Feb 06 2024 :  04:29:46 AM  Show Profile
Oh my I love greens! Especially collards. I don't cook mine as long as some of you but then my preferred way of eating them is in my salads because I love raw veggies. I do spinach the same.

~Denise
Sister #43~1/18/2007

"I am a bookaholic and I have no desire to be cured."

"Home is where we find comfort, security, memories, friendship, hospitality, and above all, family. It is the place that deserves our commitment and loyalty." William J. Bennett

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

http://www.ladybugsandlilacs.blogspot.com/
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nubidane
True Blue Farmgirl

2859 Posts

Lisa
Georgetown OH
2859 Posts

Posted - Feb 06 2024 :  07:47:15 AM  Show Profile
Krista, we call our Mrs Dells potatoes. I thought it was someone my BIL's family knew, but I just googled it and there are a bunch of recipes. Who knew? Kind of crushed my image of a sweet old family friend named Mrs Dell

Edited by - nubidane on Feb 06 2024 07:47:58 AM
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