I spent last weekend doing nothing, well, almost nothing — I did two loads of wash and put away the cushions from the deck furniture. I stayed in my PJs all day, finally taking a shower and getting dressed only long enough to pick up a takeout order of Chinese food Saturday night.

After deciding on a do-nothing day, I settled on the couch with the three remotes (TV, cable box and Firestick), my tablet and cell phone, and the next Eagle book club selection I needed to finish. I also grabbed my recipe box, thinking I would look for a recipe to use up the almost full can of pumpkin leftover from my son's dog's upset tummy a week before. I really had good intentions; I found two pumpkin recipes and then got waylaid making new file dividers for the box. By the time I had finished, all thoughts of baking had vanished.

I studied Spanish via an app on my tablet. Six years of Spanish decades ago in high school and college, and three years of using the app for at least 15 to 30 minutes daily, and I still can't speak it. I then turned to watching TV, first a "Say Yes to the Dress" marathon on regular TV, binge-watching old episodes of "Mad About You" on demand and finally binge-watching "Living with Yourself" on Netflix. I also fit in a nap — during the middle of the third season of "Mad About You."

Do nothing day was such a success, I repeated it on Sunday, except I finished the book and worked a shift at the supermarket. I had fleeting moments of regret I hadn't vacuumed when I saw dog hair drifting across the hardwood floor, but quickly put those aside with a couple episodes of "Hoarding: Buried Alive." A few hairballs simply doesn't compare!

While I was going through my recipe box, I found a recipe for one of my mom's go-to quick desserts — Chocolate Crazy Cake, also known as Wacky Cake or Depression Cake. I used to think it was called depression cake because you made holes, i.e. depressions, in the dry ingredients into which you poured some of the liquid ingredients. Come to find out, it was a cake created in the Great Depression, when eggs, milk and butter were hard to come by.



1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)

3 tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients — two small, one larger. Pour vinegar in one small depression, vanilla in the other, and the vegetable oil in third larger depression. Pour water over all. Mix well until smooth.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Cool. Top with your favorite frosting.

Note: Oven baking times may vary, be sure to check your cake to make sure you do not over bake.