Zoe Komaransky

In the course of yesterday’s extraordinary afternoon, readers and friends sent us their many a la minute eclipse improvisations, inspired by our early morning post about how to experience the eclipse by “doing practically nothing”. As one reader wrote: Thanks, I think I have got it. First step is to go outside.

Sally Schneider


THAT is pretty much all you had to do to enjoy the strangely wonderful experience. We found ourselves sitting in a park happily enjoying a tiny version of the eclipse trained on our big white blouse via a piece of paper with a tiny hole poked in it, while we watched excited people with all sorts of rigs for viewing, from telescopes to the over-exposed portion of an X-ray film.

Passing the crowds looking UP, we caught the eclipse’s startling reflection in the window of an office building, just as a friend was texting us a photo of the eclipse filtered through leaves acting like a pinhole camera. “Magical.

Maureen Rolla


But the most surprising message was from longtime reader Zoe Komaransky:

This all happened so effortlessly…knew I was meant to share it so you can see how your Improvised Life works.

I read your Effortless Eclipse post this morning when I woke. I immediately knew I had to bake, and not just anything.  Today called for your Essential Chocolate Cake for Improvising…and er, Eclipse Viewing.

So it’s just out of the oven and plated on gold platter…photo attached.  I will slice my way through it according to the eclipse…as I journal about what I’m grateful for…and use my soup skimmer and paper plates for viewing.

But now I’ll have a culinary version of the eclipse, too. 

Ha!—it’s kind of a celestial version of sheet-caking, no?




In an eclipse-inspired free association, Zoe had taken transformed our tried-and-true chocolate cake recipe (as easy as brownies to make) into a cosmic event, slicing her way through it according to the eclipse as she counted blessings. WHEW! Now THERE is a practice.

We always did think the cake had a rather cosmic look to it.


Maria Robledo

You’ll find the recipe here. (To make a 9 x 13″ sheet cake, double the recipe and cook it a few minutes less, paying strict attention to the test for doneness.

Serve with lunar Sea Salt Whipped Cream.

Sally Schneider

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