In the days before the era of the modern supermarket where fruit and
vegetable, from all over the world and at all times of the year regardless
of season, Scots had to depend on the humble Kailyaird for greens. The
term kailyaird entered the Scots Language in the 16th century to describe
a cabbage patch or vegetable garden.The word also entered the Scottish
vocabulary as a term of derision for a genre of Scottish literature.
'Kailyaird' became the derogatory term for a type of heavily sentimental
fiction popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which dealt
chiefly with rural domestic life with a spattering of Scots speech.
Edinburgh academic J H Millar established the term as he targeted writers
such as S R Crockett, John Wilson and particularly J M Barrie, whose
'Window in Thrums' was typical of the genre. However it should be noted
that the 'Kailyaird school of Scottish fiction enjoyed great popularity in
England and America as well at home here in Scotland.
Most gardens today seem to be given over to grass, flowers, decking,
water-features and all the other items featured in the plethora of
television gardening programmes but room should always be found for a few
clumps of rhubarb. Easy to keep, rhubarb at this stage in the season, is
the base of this week's recipe - Rhubarb Pudding.
Ingredients : 4 oz (100 g) self-raising flour; pinch of salt; 2 oz (50 g)
butter or margarine, cut into pieces; 4 oz (100 g) sugar; 1 lb (450 g)
young rhubarb, trimmed, cleaned and cut into 1 inch (2-5 cm) slices; 1/4
pint (150 ml) milk
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into
the flour with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine
breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and rhubarb and beat in the milk to make a
thick batter. Turn into a buttered 1 3/4 pint (1 litre) baking dish and
bake in a fairly hot oven (200 deg C, 400 deg F, Gas Mark 6) for 30 to 40
minutes. Serve at once with caster sugar.