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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    “today we have a sponge cake!”

    Why did she say “today we have a sponge cake!” ? Just to console her daughter?
    But can you make a sponge cake out of broken eggs?


    mo3-48
    ex) My grandmother’s kitchen was overflowing with food. She raised her daughters to keep an extra box and bottle unopened in the cupboard for every bottle and box that was in use. Although she died before I was born, I was raised by her eldest daughter to do this same thing. Absentminded as I am, I often find I have accumulated two or even three extras of anything in my house.
    But this abundance did not mean that things were to be wasted. Everything was always used to the full. Even the tea bags were used twice. There is a family story told about my grandmother’s refrigerator. Her refrigerator was always full to the very edges and every shelf was put to use. Occasionally when someone, usually a child, opened it without sufficient caution, an egg would fall out and break on the kitchen floor. My grandmother’s response was always the same. She would look at the broken egg with satisfaction. “Aha,” she would say, “today we have a sponge cake!”
    Befriending life is not always about having things your own way. Life is impermanent and full of broken eggs. But what is true of eggs is even more true of pain and loss and suffering. Certain things are too important to be wasted. When I was sixteen, just after the doctor came and informed me that I had a disease that no one knew how to cure, my mother had reminded me of this.

    I had turned toward her in shock, but she did not cuddle or soothe. Instead she reached out and took me by the hand. We will make a sponge cake,” she told me firmly. It has taken many years to find the recipe, the one that is my own, but I knew in that moment that this was what I needed to do.
    Last edited by keannu; 27-Aug-2012 at 15:58.

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: “today we have a sponge cake!”

    Hi,

    As I read it, it means that she's going to make the best of the borken egg. Since, as we are told in the passage, nothing was ever wasted, the grandmother is taking the chance of using the broken egg, which someone else might throw away.

    Also, IMO, you always need to break the eggs (=get rid of the shell) before using them to cook anything. I don't think you could make a cake, or an omelette without breaking the eggs!

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  3. Academic Writing's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: “today we have a sponge cake!”

    Agree with Charlie's interpretation. If it had been my story I probably would have said "we'll have" though. :)
    SeriousScholar.com

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    #4

    Re: “today we have a sponge cake!”

    Everything was always used to the full.
    That's not a natural sentence. Everything was always used completely.

  4. Academic Writing's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: “today we have a sponge cake!”

    agree...could also say "to the fullest" or "to its fullest" (given that this is an informal story anyway)
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  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: “today we have a sponge cake!”

    1. Do you mean the writer, presumably a native speaker made a mistake? It can happen even Koreans use some expressions wrong, which makes other Koreans laugh.
    Everything was always used to the full.
    2. I added the later part, which is a comparison part for her life lesson. So "make a sponge cake" must have been used as a metaphor for overcoming even bad situation or luck, right?

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    #7

    Re: “today we have a sponge cake!”

    "To the full" is incorrect. "To the fullest" is a possibility, but it doesn't really mean to use every last bit of something.

    Something bad happens (someone breaks an egg) and she turns it into something good (assuming you like cake made with egg that was on the floor).

    We say "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade."

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: “today we have a sponge cake!”

    "used to the full" is acceptable in BrE.

  7. Academic Writing's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: “today we have a sponge cake!”

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "To the full" is incorrect. "To the fullest" is a possibility, but it doesn't really mean to use every last bit of something.
    I hadn't thought about it much before Dave, but I see what you're saying about each little bit. Perhaps the idea is "to the fullest [extent]," which perhaps is more about potential than quantity (although I think there is some overlap here, if we see an egg's "potential" as a yummy or perhaps in this case dirty cake). :)
    Last edited by Academic Writing; 28-Aug-2012 at 17:02.
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