My Favourite Brownie Recipe

Following is the brownie recipe that I make for Sci-Fi nights. I am not a fan of icing on the top, rather preferring a big scoop of chocolate ice cream on top. I started making my own brownies, because I got tired of the almost anything made of chocolate that gets sold in the shops in Australasia as “brownies”.

These are hugely popular in our house. I hope you like them too.

Original recipe makes 12 – 16 brownies (but I like mine thick and chewy, so it makes 8 – 12 for me).



1/2 cup butter (try 3/4 butter and 1/4 extra virgin olive oil – makes brownies much moister and richer)
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (100% cocoa)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (160C for fan-forced oven.). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.

2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. (I cook these 20 – 22 minutes, to keep them chewy when they cool down.)

Note: I often double this recipe and cook for 40 – 45 minutes for thick and gooey brownies.

Daddy, Moon gone!

My son was two
and loved to walk with Dad,
to the fish and chip shop,
where he often got sweets.

Mum requested we pick up dinner
and we walked in the early evening,
the three blocks to the shop.

Walking down a gravel path,
hand in hand,
with trees on the West,
wee Jack looked up and said,
“Daddy! Moon!”

The joy in his young eyes!
He loved the moon
and our nightly tradition of standing outside at his bedtime,
to look up at the moon and stars,
as I sung “Twinkle Little Star” to him.

“Moon, Daddy! Moon!”

So much happiness,
at something we have forgotten to love,
forgotten to view with wonder.

As we walked along,
he sang the Moon’s praises,
in a way only a two year old could.

that huge moon in a light blue sky,

As we had walked along,
it hide itself behind a tree.

My sweet boy could not be comforted,
a few steps later,
it reappeared in all of its brilliance.
“Moon back, Daddy!”

A sterile note from Monsieur Piaget,
could note that my son was learning of “object permanence” –
something Piaget considered to be among a child’s greatest achievements,
but I prefer to imagine that on that magic evening,
my son taught me that for those things over which we have no experience,
and which we cannot extrapolate from what we know,
we are in the same position as my wee boy was that evening.

As he and I walked along,
I considered that death may be no more significant
than the momentary disappearance of the moon behind those trees.

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
11 March 2013

Hesitant to write

Sometimes you are so eager to write,
of a thought or image roaming through your head,
that you are afraid to approach it.
It feels so pure,
so beautiful –
you feel that you will not do it justice.
So you let it continue to work through your waking
and sleeping

The image I see is one which means much to me,
it is a moment shared with my son.
I want to share its joy,
its intensity,
but I move between feeling inadequate
and feeling that it is his and mine alone.

I know, though, that this should belong to all.
All things beautiful should be shared.

Perhaps tomorrow I will start on putting it in words,
but now,
I will go off to bed,
letting it wander the passes, trails and byways of my memory and mind.
It is mine.

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
11 March 2013

The Nazarene

Knowing one’s greatest days are past
and yet being dragged along by the currents of time,
ever looking back,
yearning for the place of what was.

Our plan was great,
my brothers,
though we could not foretell,
what would become of it.

To bring compassion to a hostile empire,
to soften the edges of fanaticism,
seemed noble enough a cause.

Sitting on this barren rock,
so far from our home,
I am forced by time and conscience
to weigh what we have done.

They longed for an anointed one,
a ruler foretold.
The masses will believe anything,
Especially when it is consistent with their desires,
This we knew,
and upon this we depended.

Oh, the looks on their faces,
As we continued to distribute the bread and fish,
from place unseen!

On consideration,
A better death could have been planned.
Waiting three days for them to leave became too much,
and one intended a martyr,
became a god.

As with all such movements,
those seeking power and influence
pervert what once was.
And the plan for one to speak of compassion
and die a martyr’s death,
became yet another institution of oppression.

Oh, my brothers!
To have those days over,
I would have remained a builder,
or else sold olives from a stall,
at the entrance to Jerusalem.

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
10 March 2013

Route six

He lived out in a caravan,
off Route Six.
He could smell the ocean at high tide
and if he was very quiet –
which he often was –
he could hear the waves crashing late at night.

His caravan was old and rusty,
the gift of a dying father.
Old and sturdy,
of a kind no longer made,
while rusty on the outside,
it was water-proof,
with many more years of good use,
so he said.
He refused to paint it,
claiming this “kept the thieves away”.

Inside was everything a single man would want:
a small television,
an even smaller radio,
a coffee machine made between the wars,
a comfortable double bed,
and a bookshelf,
with tomes about wars,
Jack London,
and even a small edition on poetry,
which he kept handy,
but out of sight.

He was on a meagre budget,
so nothing unnecessary here.
Everything had a place and everything knew its place.

In short,
he had the life of which many men would dream.
A life free of burden and cares,
with a folding chair in front of the caravan,
for those rare moments when he wanted to “get away”
and look at the stars.

Peace is never to last
and some say that she sensed his happiness,
as the hunted is tracked by heat and the smell of blood.
If he had known that day she arrived,
he could have run inside and brought out a weapon,
but this was not to be.
His senses weren’t honed to danger.
He had lived too long without being hunted.
He had grown soft –

She was dropped along the road,
by a love affair gone bad.
Her dress was torn,
Her hair out of sorts,
Missing a shoe.
He felt pity.
First mistake.

She told him of the scoundrel and watched his heart break,
She saw that he was almost ready to be reeled in.
She used every trick known to her,
until she felt him ready to be addicted to her magic box.

Looking around,
she realised it wasn’t much –
or rather she couldn’t appreciate what it was –
but it would do,
until something better came along.

She pulled in her catch,
then immediately began changing his life,
moving everything in the caravan,
getting rid of almost everything of value,
replacing his life with cheap and shiny things,
from a shop.

He would never again hear the waves.
It was too loud.
Too much bitching,
Too much screaming.

After changing his outward existence,
she began to deconstruct him from the inside.
In time,
the cost of leaving everything was vastly outweighed,
by the death which awaited one –
or both –
of them.

He looked around the caravan with sadness,
until he saw her.
Grabbing what was left of his wallet,
he headed for the door.
A few cents and a poker chip were all he had,
but such is the cost of freedom.

She lives out in a caravan,
off Route Six.

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
08 March 2013

The paedophile

Local boy,
Loved town.
Wanted to give something back,
Spent thirty years helping the grieving.

A moment of weakness,
Touched a boy.
Friends disappeared.
Got twenty years,
Neighbour repeatedly violated step-daughter,
Got five,
Along with winks,
And sympathy from friends.

Townspeople showed,
A lifetime of devotion meant nothing,
The trust of family meant as little.

If you see a sign for “Marlow” along the highway,
Roll up your windows and drive swiftly through,
If you must.

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
09 March 2013

Dave the dildo

She called it ‘Dave’,
After one who got away,
They have been together so long,
She can’t imagine a time without him
In her –

He outlasted all the others,
He was with her through breakups,
The menopause.

He has known thousands of batteries,
As well as every fold of her vagina,
The entrance to her arse,
The entrance to Steve’s,
Who afterwards developed an interest in men.

The end where the batteries go,
No longer stays shut,
Without the help of tape.
She has to hold it just so,
To keep the tape from rubbing against her.
It is not the best thing to realise,
In the midst of the act,
That your lover is held together with tape,
And that you are responsible.

Close your eyes and imagine,
That Dave is Jim,
Or Dave who got away.

A few tears as he goes in the bin,
Then swiftly forgotten,
As ‘William’,
Made in China,
Enters her –

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
07 March 2013


She stood in the laneway next to the library,
Screaming into the side of her bottled water,
Then putting it on her head and having a very animated discussion,
With beings unseen –
At least to the rest of us on the street.

A man walked swiftly past her,
With curious dog in tow.
A couple stopped across the street,
Stretching to see if perhaps there was someone initially unseen.
The shaking of heads,
Looks of scorn, disgust and pity.

Thought occurs –
Perhaps her conversation was no less valid,
Than the one taking place between a man and his phone.
Who is to say that a water bottle is any less a conversationalist.
Perhaps her recipient was no less attentive,
Than the dog to which the old man was talking.
Perhaps she looked at us with pity for being too mentally unstable,
To see the person who was actually beside her.

Life is assumptions,
Built upon assumptions,
And imperfect observations.

I hope she was able to resolve her conflict with her companion
and that they are able to enjoy another walk together soon.

[To the woman today, with her companion in Lyttelton.]

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
05 March 2013


She will hold onto this guy,
until the next guy comes alone.
She is on the lookout for the next partner,
but keeps this fact to herself.
They size her up for sex,
while she sizes them up for suitability –
suitability to walk on her arm,
suitability to fix her car,
suitability to present to her friends,
suitability to support her financially,
suitability to fuck her,
suitability as a sperm donor.

All relations with men,
excluding the deformed and those she has otherwise rejected,
involves a dance –
the dance of suitability.

She speaks in the most positive terms of her current partner,
until she decides upon another.
Then the previous partner is full of flaws and unworthiness.
Unable to accept her true motivations and the reality that he has not changed,
She projects her shame and culpability onto him
and the next bloke is willing to believe her claims,
for the chance to get into her box.

She believes – is desperate to believe – that life is a fairytale,
She imagines her wedding day as being the beginning,
but when the realities of life sink in,
she treats her Prince Charming with scorn.
It is his fault that her life has not turned out as she wished.

Living in illusion,
she jumps from one illusion to another.

Do not try to understand her,
for as long as your worldview is based upon honesty with self,
honesty with others,
belief in the innate goodness of others,
you will be unable to fathom her motivations.

Consider yourself fortunate that you cannot understand her,
that she has moved on to another –
that poor bastard!

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
05 March 2013