Hot Mess – Part One

(This is a post for the BlogHer August challenge with the theme of “hot”.)


This is the shot out of my windshield at noon in downtown Evanston today. Yes, I was in a traffic jam in downtown Evanston. I knew that the cross street was under construction but I thought I could avoid it by going straight.  Little did I know (or anyone else stuck in the mess) that we all had to turn into the construction.  I sat through several light changes before I got to move into more construction.  It was a bit of a hot mess.

The term hot mess has many meanings. To me it can mean something that I have stumbled into that causes confusion or is not organized. Like the traffic jam in the picture. The term is common in today’s world.

A few years ago, before I had heard the term used as frequently, I went to a restaurant in Buchanan, MI and they had an item on the menu that was called a hot mess. A hot mess could be ordered with two or three eggs. It seems that a hot mess was a mixture of the eggs, hash browns, and breakfast meats. They were all cooked together. It did indeed look like a hot mess but it was good. I thought that it was just this restaurant that served a “hot mess” but when we went to another restaurant in town, I discovered that they had it on the menu also.  So, I don’t know if it is a Michigan thing or a Buchanan thing. I have only seen it in Buchanan.

I did discover that “hot mess” has a military meaning. According to

hot mess (uncountable)

(military) A warm meal, usually cooked in a large pot, often similar to a stew or porridge; or, service of such a heated meal to soldiers. 

1974, Langdon Sully, No Tears for the General: The Life of Alfred Sully, 1821-1879, page 119 He provided for a hot mess and he got the men up off the floor with improvised bunks.

1980, William Manchester, Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War, page 260 The men there would have settled for a Coleman stove and a hot-mess line, but the greatest contribution to their spirits, plus or minus, was mail call.

So now you know that one meaning of a hot mess is a hot meal cooked in one pot. Gee, I have made that! I call it dinner…


Tomorrow – more on hot mess.

Thanks for reading.

About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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