Our Flag and What it Means

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Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.   credit
During theAmerican Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congressvoted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Vir…

A Mess Of Greens, It's That Time Of Year!


Who loves greens?  Here in the South we, well most of us, love them.  I guess it is a love or hate for some. When I was a child I didn't like them at all.  That changed as I grew older.
     I have very fond memories of the grandparents and great grandparents growing them in their Fall/Winter gardens.  The excitement was in the air for those things growing, meant the holidays weren't far behind.
     I also remember the fun times we had picking up the pecans that would fall to the ground as well, but that's another story.
     Getting back to greens, I should grow my own, but don't.  Do you?  Luckily there are a few local growers that take the time to grow and sell! They are so good for us. Let's talk Greens today!

We have several varieties of greens that are grown here:

  • Mustard
  • Purple Top Turnips
  • Collards
  • Kale


My grandmama, and mother in law used to say, "You can't just rinse home grown greens through.", "You have to soak them a little while. Put some salt into a sink of cold water. That removes all the bugs attached and makes the grit/dirt fall off easier."

  • Fill sink full of cold water
  • Add about 1/2 cup salt
  • Soak about 20 minutes
  • Drain the salt water.
  • Add fresh water (do not soak this time).
  • Move the greens around to wash
  • Drain
  • Fill sink once more with fresh cold water
  • Move around for last washing
  • Pull apart into small leaf sections about 2 - 3 inches wide or roll leaves cut on chopping block
  • I do use the tender stems, but remove and discard the thicker tough ones.  
  • Chop the stems into 2 inch pieces
  • Turnips they call them the tops even though they grow underneath the green leaves. I peel mine, guess because my family did.  I see in the P Allen Smith video below he just cooks his  I may do that next time, save some extra trouble.

That should do it fresh clean greens.  I find from experience that curly leaf mustard holds the most dirt and sand and should be rinsed and looked at more thoroughly.  Nothing is worse than biting down into a bunch of mustard and having grit in them! Awful!

I think their advice works because of all of the years I've done this they come out much cleaner

Tip: Greens cook down a lot so it is amazing the amount you can put into your pot.  I suggest prepare about twice as much as you think your pot size will hold.  Steam down, add more quickly until you've added all of them.  Turn bottom greens up to top with large fork...Cover and cook until your liking.


Mama and Grandmother Johnson cooked theirs in plain water until almost tender then drain.  While that was cooking they would fry up some fat back in an iron frying pan. They would then add the cooked greens into the frying pan and cook down making sure all the greens were coated with the fat and season with salt and pepper.  The iron frying pan cooks things wonderfully, they were delicious.



This is a good tutorial on growing them


I haven't tried this but think I am going to one day soon!



I like this method too. My mama in later years would just cook hers down like this and she said, "If you leave the greens a little wet there is no need to add extra water.  It does give a fresher more crisp texture and they are a bright green color for a fresher look too!

Maybe that is enough to get you started if you've never cooked greens before.
Basically any type green can be cooked in any of these ways
Don't throw away the leftovers, you can freeze for a month or so the seasoned cooked greens!
.You can also prepare and freeze while they are in season for enjoying year round!


I'll leave you today in my Grandma's way of speaking.

"Y'all go pick and cook ya a Mess a Greens!"