Unless stated otherwise, all poetry on Swimming in Lines of Haiku is Copyright Kirsten Cliff and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from the author. kirsten(DOT)cliff(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mice and Jam and Poetry...

The cooler temperatures of our beloved Autumn are already encouraging the field mice to seek warmth inside country homes. Hubby and I have had three in our kitchen so far! An interesting winter it shall be :) And the perfect time to share this poem and recipe, which appeared in Narratives with Nosh: Stories, Poems & Recipes edited by Margaret Beverland with Jenny Argante (Tauranga Writers, 2009).

The rush

O, the rush of independence
on assassinating my first mouse

with a dollop of strawberry jam
and a state-of-the-art plastic trap

Four days on the hunt
bruised knees from searching under furniture

for a glimpse of something
I didn’t want to see

Nights, sleepless, waiting to hear SNAP!
instead a scratch a scuttle a squeak

Then at 4 p.m. on a rainy Thursday
I got it!

My high short-lived
as I contemplated disposal of the body

Chocolate jam-drop muffins


  • 1 large (rounded) Dsp margarine
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ c flour (for gluten free use 1¼ c Tapioca flour, ¼ c rice flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (for gluten free use baking powder that is gluten free too)
  • ½ c cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ c milk
  • ½ c jam (your choice)


  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees C with fan bake, or 180 degrees without fan bake.
  • Line a muffin tin with muffin cups (or grease with margarine).
  • In a large bowl, cream margarine, sugar and vanilla essence. Beat in egg.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into the creamed mix.
  • Fold in gently, adding the milk. Stir only to combine and stop once mixed well.
  • Into each muffin cup, put about a Dsp of mix, enough to cover the base.
  • Follow with a tsp of jam onto the top, and then use the remaining mix to fill the muffin cups so that each muffin is roughly the same size, and all jam is covered.
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until well risen and springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Cool on a wire rack, ice if you like them iced, or eat as is.

Chocolate butter icing


  • 1 c icing sugar  
  • ½ c cocoa
  • 1 Dsp margarine or softened butter
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk


  • Sift cocoa and icing sugar into a bowl. Mix in butter and milk, and then whip with a fork or spoon until icing is thick.

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