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Apr 21, 2014

On Saturday, I scrambled(1) to buy as much chocolate as I could. It had to be really good chocolate, Swiss. I had a project in mind(2), and I only had a few hours to finish it. I had decided to make an English style chocolate Easter egg for my children. Traditionally, in England, that is the gift that we give on Easter Sunday. The egg represents new life, and new hope; it's one of the main symbols of Easter. And you wouldn't believe the sizes of some of the chocolate eggs that you can find in the shops in the U.K. Over here, a very different tradition takes place. People boil eggs, and then color them. They will then hide them all over the garden, or in a park, and children have to find them. The Easter bunny is also a well-loved(3) Easter character, but really a commercial one. It has taken me a very long time to get used to boiled eggs instead of chocolate ones. Honestly, I still haven't got used to that. So, I set about(4) making the Easter egg. I unwrapped several bars of chocolate and a couple of bags of wrapped chocolate pieces. I put them all in a bowl, melted them over hot water, and then coated the inside of a plastic mold(5). I did this four times, each time putting(6) the egg in the fridge to make the chocolate hard. Everything went well, until I had to remove the chocolate egg from the plastic. I had to bang, and squeeze, tap and shake it. The bottom piece actually broke into several pieces; however, the large top part of the egg came out in one piece. I was so happy. Instead of an egg, it was more like a dome, but at least it had worked. The kids loved it. I aim to improve the technique, so next year I can make excellent Easter eggs. They're a sweet way to celebrate new life.

 1. 'To scramble' has a few meanings. We scramble eggs when we beat them. A radio message can be 'scrambled' if it is mixed up. And finally, to scramble to do something means to rush or hurry.

a. We scrambled to pack our bags and get to the airport on time.

b. We scrambled to clean the house before the guests arrived.

2. 'To have something in mind' is to have a plan or an idea. Once the idea is expressed, the speaker can say ,"I have ....." in mind (to add further detail) or a listener can ask 'What do you have in mind?' to get further details.

a. I'd like to buy a book. I have a horror story in mind.

b. I plan on going on vacation.

    Oh really, where?

    I have somewhere exotic in mind.

3. 'Well-loved'

a. Their pets are well-loved.

b. Those kids are well-loved by their grandparents.

4. 'To set about doing something' is to get on with, or to start doing a project. 'To set about' indicates that the project has several steps, needs equipment, ingredients, or stages, whereas 'to start' is very simple and can be used for 'one step' projects, like writing an essay.

a. I set about organizing all of my packets of seeds for my vegetable garden.

b. We set about painting the house; there was a lot to prepare.

5. 'Mold' is a growth of fungus, but it can also be a shape or frame that is used to create other similar shapes from different substances. Note that in England, both words are spelled 'mould'.

a. The plastic mold that I used for the Easter egg was too hard.

b. There is mold growing on the bread; throw it away.

6. 'I did this four times, each time putting the egg in the fridge.' The second part of this sentence (with the gerund) is a quick and fluid way of adding detail to a sentence. I could have said, 'I did this four times, and each time I put the egg in the fridge' which is correct, of course. But the first sentence flows better.

a. She vacuumed every room, each time making sure she got the corners really well.

b. He sent the invitations, writing each one by hand. 

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