breakfast

wake up tea

Alu Paratha with Lemon Achar

Every morning that we were trekking in the Himalaya, we were woken up with hot tea brought to our tent; if that one action doesn’t set the scene for how much we loved being in India, I don’t know what could. Beyond stating over and over again how extraordinary the magnitude of the Himalayas is, and how I tried to find new spaces in my head and heart to cram it all in, I really can’t find a way to wrap words around the experience. It was as though every spiritual teaching I have ever happened upon, all the beautiful passages of poetry, every minute of yoga practice, and all the meditation I have ever sat in, all met in a point of singularity, and what really, really blew my mind was how they all just fell away, in an instant. And there I was breathing and walking. Breathing and walking became the most incredible things. Stuff I’d be doing, let’s face it,  for quite sometime now, these everyday things, all of a sudden became truly sacred. And that’s pretty much how it played out, from one moment to the next, so overwhelmed with the beauty of breathing and walking in surroundings that asked nothing more or less of me. Insane levels of peace right there. Wake up tea indeed. And that’s before we found ourselves sitting in the kitchen of an 1100 year old Buddhist monastery. Crazy beautiful.

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And of course there’s so much more, there always is. And it’s still coming, even now that we’re home. I love that. And Alu Paratha, I love Alu Paratha. If there was a quintessential meal for me while we were in India, it was Alu Paratha, with Achar (pickle) and chai. So good. It’s our new Sunday brunch now that we’re back, and if the Gayatri Mantra is loud enough in the background, it just about tastes like the real thing – only with Spelt Flour, Vegan Butter and Almond Milk. Here’s our rendition of the originals if you’d like to create your own Little (Vegan) India.

Lemon Achar (Pickle)

The lemon achar will need to be made a few weeks before hand to allow the skins of the lemon quarters to soften, this is when you’ll know it’s ready.

1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds

1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3-4 strands of saffron

1 small dried chilli

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt 

4 organic lemons

300 ml mustard seed oil

Lightly dry roast the spices in a pan until fragrant and popping, then add the salt and saffron and roughly crush in a mortar and pestle.

Cut the lemons in quarters and remove the pips. Put in a bowl and stir the spices through to coat the lemon quarters. Put the quarters into sterilised jars, stacking the fruit as you would for preserved lemons.

Gently heat the mustard oil in a pan until it is hot, but not smoking. Add the small chilli into the jar and pour the hot oil over the lemons. Make the jar airtight and leave for at least a week until the lemon skins have softened, again in the same way preserved lemons do.

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 Alu Paratha

For the paratha:

1 cup organic spelt flour

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

For the alu:

2 organic potatoes

1 tablespoon organic coconut oil

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Boil the potatoes, drain and cool. Mash together with the spices, salt and lemon juice.

Mix the spelt flour with the salt and rub in the coconut oil. Slowly add the water until you have a workable dough.

 Split the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece out to about 1/2 cm thick. Place a tablespoon of the potato mix in the centre of each and fold the edges of the dough over the potato like you were wrapping a present.  Turn the dough over and gently roll out as thinly as possible to spread the potato mix throughout the bread, but trying not to break the dough and let the potato bust through. This can take a little practice!

Heat a flat grill plate and cook each paratha until golden, flipping halfway through the cooking time to cook both sides evenly.

Serve with lemon achar and chai.

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milking the moon

Homemade Almond Milk

Ok, here goes, the fastest blog ever! We’re in the midst of a whole food frenzy in preparation for the Full Moon Farm Gate on Saturday night, but I wanted to quickly add this super, super simple recipe for homemade almond milk, because along with Barossa Coffee Roasters, this is what we’ll be serving as one of our plant based milk options in the land of dairy free coffee and tea, and I know how many people were keen to do the same when they left the market last time. Super simple. And especially so because my Mum whipped up some organic hemp nut milk bags for us to share across the trestle. A little moon in every milk.

 

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with love from cambodia

Raw Everything & Nettle Smoothie

Our Cambodian trip was a little while ago now but it’s taken me some time to let any notion of narrative fall into place about what it meant to be there. I still have none. The story will only be a story for you to read, and really, what would be the most amazing thing, and maybe the only real way to talk about this, is for you to go too. Take a totally brilliant friend with you. I did. And while you’re there please, please go to Hariharalaya. It’s where you can dissolve and be held at the same time. My God. And the really, really brilliant part is what you find in your heart when you get home. I’m still unpacking.

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Angkor Wat made me sit down a lot. Mostly because I was trying to stop my brain from figuring out the details. The overwhelming beauty stops all inner chat pretty quickly though.

 

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The view over the balcony from my room at Hariharalaya.

 

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We rode our bikes down dirt tracks lined either side with temples, to the soundtrack of chanting and local kids practicing their English on us, as they rode up to join us like we were old buddies that did this every afternoon.

 

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 Handmade, locally pottered tea cups. No one rides past that kind of magic shop.

 

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We had really great smoothies every morning as part of the Hariharalaya breakfast and it’s a ritual the bounty of stinging nettles has encouraged me to continue since being home. Here’s what we’ve been sipping on after yoga over the last week. It’s helping with my detachment until I can get back to Cambodia.

Raw Everything & Nettle Smoothie

makes at least 4 breakfast sized smoothies

 

3 cups freshly made organic almond milk (or milk or choice)

1 heaped tablespoon organic hemp seeds

1 heaped tablespoon organic raw cacao

1 heaped tablespoon organic mesquite powder

1 heaped tablespoon organic chia seeds

1 heaped tablespoon organic coconut oil

1 frozen organic banana

2 packed cups raw organic stinging nettles 

 

Blend everything together in a high speed blender until completely smooth. Don’t worry about the sting on the nettles, they’ll be dissolved during the pureeing process. Promise. You may want to add a little honey or agave if it’s not quite sweet enough for you.

you put turmeric in your porridge?

Oat Porridge with Turmeric, Coconut Oil & Bee Pollen

Is is just too weird to have porridge with turmeric? And coconut oil? Gawd, it’s sounding like a curried breakfast, but honestly this is good stuff. We all know how fabulous turmeric is. I love it. Juicing it, grating into sandwiches and salads and yes, adding it to curries, but a couple of weeks ago when I was in Sydney, was the first time I’ve ever thought of putting it into porridge. The beautiful little organic cafe that was our Surry Hills local, when we were local, had porridge with fresh ginger on offer, so I ordered that with almond milk and cinnamon and while I waited for it to come, I patted people’s dogs and thought of all the other things I could pack into porridge. Wondering if turmeric would work, I added coconut oil too. Sometimes brains work like that right? Tenuous about one decision you go the whole hog and find yourself throwing way more than just turmeric in there. So here’s the porridge, with turmeric, coconut oil, bee pollen and 60 year old honey. I might do ginger next time too.

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Oat Porridge with Turmeric, Coconut Oil & Bee Pollen

1 cup organic rolled oats (or quinoa flakes for a GF version)

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

1/2 tbsp organic turmeric powder

1 tbsp organic bee pollen

1 heaped tbsp virgin coconut oil

2 cups milk of your choice

organic raw honey, to taste

 

Put the oats, milk and salt into a small saucepan and cook until oats are tender. You may need to add extra milk or water depending on the kind of oats you have.

When the oats are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and add the turmeric and coconut oil. Stir through and serve into bowls sprinkled with bee pollen and drizzled with honey. I always add extra cold milk to mine so I can eat it faster. Goldilocks syndrome.

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coconut yoghurt you say?

Coconut Yoghurt

It may have taken me a while but I’ve well and truly fallen in love with this whole coconut yoghurt thing. So good. And far more creamier than I imagined. There’s lots of great recipes online for coconut yoghurt but my interest was piqued again when we went to Mexico, and not because there are ‘cocos frios’ everywhere, but because of the pre-flight food pack I put together before we left.

I came across dehydrated coconut water, in its raw powdered form, and thought it would be a perfect flight buddy to add to water along the way for a decent electrolyte fix over the nearly 30 hours of flying we had ahead of us. It worked a treat. Once we were airborne, I started thinking of all the other things I could add it to (that daydream helped to fill in at least, oh, 30 minutes out of the 30 hours) and along with smoothies, dips, soups etc, coconut yoghurt popped into the part of my brain where I do my taste testing.

Not that the idea is to make the yoghurt from the dehydrated coconut water, but I found out that if you add it to your fresh coconut yoghurt it makes it thicker without losing that lovely creaminess. Bingo. I’m sure you could go ahead and flavour the yoghurt too but the coconut flavour it pretty big on its own, so I’ve just been enjoying adding it to things rather than adding things to it. So far, coconut yoghurt had been dolloped onto raw granola, mixed with chia seeds and fresh apricots for a take in the jar kind of breakfast, dipped into with chapati to have with dahl, swirled through gazpacho and spooned through grated cucumber with toasted cumin seeds. It’s good stuff.

 

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Coconut Yoghurt

makes 2 cups

 

3 fresh whole organic drinking coconuts

2 capsules dairy free acidophilus probiotic powder

1 heaped tablespoon organic dehydrated coconut water (optional)

 

The trickiest part about this recipe is getting into the coconuts! I have a cleaver that I bought especially for this in Thailand, but if you don’t have a heavy cleaver, use the heaviest knife you have in your collection. I have been known to use a screwdriver and hammer before too!

Start by chopping into one side of the top of the coconut using repeated strikes until you feel the knife break through the shell. Then move onto the other three sides of the square you’ll eventually be able to pull open to access the coconut water and flesh.

Once you have a 3 coconuts open, drain the water into a jug and sip away on that because you’ll only need about 1/4 cup or so in your yoghurt. Using a rounded soup spoon, scrape the flesh from the inside of the coconut and put into your blender. Don’t forget to get the flesh right at the top too. Pull off any bits of shell that come with the flesh, your blender won’t like these.

Once you have all the coconut flesh in your food processor, break the capsules apart and sprinkle in the acidophilus powder, add the dehydrated coconut water and blend to a smooth puree. If you are happy with the consistency as is, then there’s no need to add any fresh coconut water. I probably added a little less than 1/4 cup.

Put the coconut puree into a clean glass jar with a lid and leave the yoghurt in a warm place for 24hours to allow the culture to activate. Then pop it in the fridge. It will keep for about a week. You’ll have scraped the bottom of the jar well before then though I’d imagine!

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velvety sunshine

blueberry & violet flapjacks with whipped honey

The garden has been doing a brilliant job of deciding our meals lately – lots of greens and herbs, and fennel tips, and lovely little baby onions, broccoli and sorrel – really good. But it’s almost like Spring arrived in its complete form all in one day yesterday, and the only thing I could see were flowers. The bees were loving it. Sitting having a cup of tea on the verandah, we actually had to talk up to hear each other over the buzz of bees going from the lavender hedge to their hive and back. It was like having tea with a bunch of chanting Buddhist monks – such an incredible vibration to hang out in.

Even though it was Wednesday yesterday, we were claiming it as Sunday to try and make up for lost time over the weekend. And although I can’t say we eat flapjacks each and every Sunday, it just seemed like a Sunday kind of breakfast, so a hankering began.

Walking back inside to start the process the violets jumped out at me so they became part of things, and having recently read that they’re high in vitamin C, I thought why not ramp that up another notch with blueberries too?

Violet and blueberry flapjacks sounded like a good combo, and they really were, but the surprise addition was a super quick experiment in whipped coconut honey. Throw some coconut oil and honey into a food processor and try your hardest not to put it on everything. Wow. Velvety sunshine.

 

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Blueberry & Violet Flapjacks with Whipped Honey

 

For the flapjacks – makes 6-8

 

1 cup fresh or frozen organic blueberries

1 1/2 cups organic GF whole flour mix (or plain flour of your choice)
1/3 cup of organic raw mesquite flour
1/3 tsp sea salt
1 tsp GF baking powder
2 1/2 cups organic soy milk

2 tbsp organic chia seeds

 

For the whipped honey

 

4 tbsp organic raw coconut oil

3 tbsp organic raw honey

 

To serve

 

1/2 cup fresh organic violets (Viola odorata, not African violets!)

extra blueberries

 

To make the flapjacks, add about 2/3 cup of water to the chia seeds and stir until they gel.

In a large bowl mix the flours, baking powder and salt together.

Mix the milk and chia seeds together and stir through the dry ingredients.

Add the blueberries at the last stage to gently fold through so they don’t break up and turn everything an odd shade of grey.

 

Heat a griddle pan or flat based sandwich press and drop spoonfuls of the flapjack mixture onto the hot surface. Leave to cook for a couple of minutes until you can easily slide a spatula under the flapjacks to flip them over. Cook on the other side until they are cooked all the way through.

 

To make the whipped honey simply put the coconut oil (unmelted) and honey into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

 

To assemble the flapjacks, pile them up with the extra blueberries, then top with a generous spoonful of whipped honey and sprinkle the violets all over to finish. Pretty and delicious. And good for you, believe it or not!

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it was a chelsea morning

Mandarin & Lavender Almond Butter

When things start getting too big in my head there are certain songs that can manage to hold the expanding edges for a minute. It’s a lovely thing about music. And the big things I’m talking about are not happening in a ‘woe is me’ kind of way, more like just a ‘whoa slow down please’ kind of way. One of the current big things is time (I can’t be the only one freaking out at how quickly things are spinning huh?). As in, how can this year’s almond blossom be cotton-tailing it all over the Valley when last year’s haul of almonds are still sitting in their shells in a basket in the kitchen? I only just picked those. Who nabbed that year that falls somewhere in between? I’d like to share it please. Even if I could get just a little bit so my brain doesn’t hurt trying to figure out the time space continuum. Craziness.

To songs. And in particular to Joni Mitchell. She softens the edges on all big things so after seeing the first of the season’s almond blossoms over the weekend, I decided we’d have a little Chelsea Morning out on the hill. Milk and toast and honey, and a bowl of oranges too. I can’t recall her mentioning mandarin and lavender almond butter in her lyrics, but that joined the scene as well. It was the fastest way I could think of to get rid of the evidence from last year’s almond harvest before this year’s were being picked. In a minute or so.

 

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Mandarin & Lavender Almond Butter

makes 1 cup

 

 

1 cup organic raw almonds

peel of 1 organic mandarin

3-4 heads of fresh organic lavender

pinch sea salt (optional)

drizzle of sweet almond oil

 

Add the dry almonds to the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 10 minutes. You might need to scrape the almond meal from the sides but this is all you need to worry about to make any kind of nut butter. It’s way easier than you might first think. Good news.

Bad news is, your food processor might get a little weary if it’s as old as mine, so rest it every 3 minutes or so to avoid burning out the motor.

Once the almond meal has started to come together in a paste, you can add a little drizzle of almond oil if you’d like it to be a bit runnier, and then add the mandarin peel and lavender flowers.

I just went with what I had on hand, you can seriously flavour nut butters with whatever takes your fancy, or just add a pinch of salt and leave it as a pure nutty taste. Either way, super good for you.

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free cow butter

vegan superfood butter

Winter throws some of my favourite things together on the hill. Really little things that may or may not even register if you took a wander around our pad for the first time. There’s the jonquils flowering under the leaf-bare apricot tree, violets beaming intense velveteen colour against everything green, fuzzy buds on the pear tree bunkering down until some warmth comes their way, and early, early in the foggy mornings spider webs glistening with enough dew to guard them against a line of runner ducks hurrying to their next appointment.

Then there’s the furry new life that turns up at the coldest part of the year. Little lambs that pogo-stick around the paddocks as though the near zero temperatures are just fine by them. And the calves. I can’t help but have favourites. It’d be a hard heart not to be stopped in its tracks by seeing a cow give birth. Tiny hooves leading the way, superhero style out into the freezing cold. Determined mooing from the Mumma cow as she connects into that realm where Nature seems to guide everything. Then in a warm, slippery crash, a calf is on the ground and life cycles again. Amazing. Even more amazing is how the older cows ‘midwife’ the younger ones who are giving birth for the first time, gathering in a circle around the birthing cow to offer support. I couldn’t believe this the first time I saw it. The wisdom of the elder cows is such a beautiful thing as they help the newborn calf to stand up and find its mother’s udders, gently nudging the mother into the right position.

I’ve watched this happen with the herd of dairy cows over the fence from us so many times. I guess it’s that direct experience of such a shiny moment that makes the facts of what happens next so hard to watch, let alone take any part in. I know you know all the arguments. I do too. That’s why we have our 2 lovely steers Wilhelm and Helmut, because male calves don’t fare well on dairies, no matter how kind the farmers are, and believe me the farmer that owns the cows next door to us is a really good guy. Sure, he thinks it’s a little ‘zany’ that we rescue calves for nothing more than the love of them. He jokes, ‘you can’t save them all’. That never makes me smile.

Beyond the fact that calves are taken from their mothers almost immediately after they are born so that their milk can be put into bottles for humans, the little boys have no future use in a dairy, so they’re killed, usually 2-3 days after being born. There’s so, so much information online that I could quote here, but I really just wanted to share the experience of bearing witness to this first hand. That’s when things seem to stick for our human brains right? How are we expected to join the dots otherwise? And I cannot for the life of me imagine anyone hearing a cow cry for her new born calf all through the night and make the decision that, yes, this is what we should be striving to achieve in our time on the planet.

But how many of us get that experience first hand? To arrive at the point where we base decisions on a genuine kinship with another animal rather than simply being told ‘you shouldn’t’, is a seriously powerful thing. There’s no punishment or judgement, on our behalf’s or the other animal’s. It’s just kindly recognising the desire in each other to lead a good life.  Reconnection with nature, in the way that us moving to this hill has given, has taught us so so much.  And while I respect everyone’s choice to care about this or not, and I really do, that’s not just some throw away line, I thought it might be cool to offer an alternative rather than just deliver the sad facts. That’s when I came across this brilliant vegan butter recipe from this gutsy blogmeister.

I’ve been using coconut butter and olive oils in my baking for a while now and although you’ll still find some of my earlier recipes use dairy, we just never have it in our fridge anymore so I don’t think to use it. That was a gradual thing. More information and knowledge lead to different thoughts and actions. What accounts for right and wrong only gets figured out with education and experience, huh? So, would it be great if calves were allowed to be nurtured by their mothers in the same way we nurture and love our babies? Absolutely. Would that mean the dairy industry would cease to exist. Most likely. Would that mean no butter. No way. Read on… and thanks again to Vegangster for this recipe and the information that has made my heart bust out of my chest all over again this week. There’s always more to learn. And more to care about.

PS. You can eat this just because it tastes good and is so good for you too. That’s a very cool reason. And equally good news for cows.

 

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Vegan Butter

directly from Vegangster with thanks

 

1 cup organic raw coconut oil

2 tablespoons organic, extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Pinch of nutritional yeast flakes 

Very small pinch of organic turmeric powder

 

This is super simple but there’s a few things you need to have in place ready for actions stations. Have a stainless steel or heat proof crockery bowl chilled in the freezer and an ice bath ready to put it into.

 

With your mixing bowl situation covered, put the coconut oil into a saucepan over heat until about half of the coconut oil melts. Immediately remove from the heat and add the olive oil, turmeric, salt and yeast flakes. Stir to combine and then pour into the bowl you have pre chilled in the freezer.

Keep stirring and place over the ice bath, being careful not to get any water into the butter as you mix it.

It should start to change colour and begin to solidify after a couple of minutes. Keep stirring until you have a softened butter consistency.

I put mine into grease proof paper at this stage and then into the fridge to really harden. 

All that’s left to do is pop that sourdough in the toaster and brew a pot of tea.

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rave fuel

Aloe Vera, Feijoa & Mint Juice

Ramping up for another Breakfast Rave this Sunday, and it seems the ramping up for fresh juice amongst the Rave ranks is happening in parallel. The Rave has been such an ‘onion’ of learning layers and sharing info between all involved. And that’s on both sides of the trestle. It’s the coolest thing that we all came together to create an organic and sustainable breakfast on a Sunday morning and in the background to that has been a table tennis game of food discoveries going backwards and forwards between us all as we find out another snippit of seed saving info, or we gather for a raw chocolate fest and communal screening of the latest Food Matters download, or we figure out the best way to feed our sourdough mother. You get the idea.

 

The latest batting around of knowledge has been juice based. Nothing new in fresh juice and its health benefits, but add in some David Wolfe superfood wisdom and all of a sudden we’re asking ‘would you like marine phytoplankton with that?’, or ‘what’s the best way to fillet fresh aloe vera?’ Love it.

 

Because The Breakfast Rave has always had a bit of an envelope pushing nature, it’s no surprise that as we’ve all been learning and experimenting with ways to make ourselves and the planet healthier, another layer is peeled, and shazam, there’s fresh aloe vera on offer in Rave juice. The marine phytoplankton is waiting to ‘pop up’ next time round – we figure superfood baby steps is probably the best way forward first thing on a Sunday morning!

 

We’ve been juicing fresh aloe for the last 3 weeks or so, and you know that thing that happens when you are blown away by something that makes you feel amazing, you just want the whole world to have it too! We’ll settle for being able to share it with a few Ravers on Sunday morning but if you’d like to give it a go at home, here are some of the reasons aloe is our new superfood hero…

 

Raw aloe contains vitamins A,C and E, along with sulfur, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and chromium, antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, enzymes and immune boosting, joint lubricating polysaccharides. David Wolfe also talks about how aloe can help you lose weight and gain lean muscle mass, increase nutrient absorption along your intestinal track, aid in stabilising blood sugar levels and kill yeast infections, while at the same time increasing the effectiveness of probiotics such as acidophilus. Who wouldn’t want to swallow some of that for breakfast?!

 

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Aloe Vera, Feijoa & Mint Juice

 

1 fillet of fresh organic aloe vera

3-4 organic feijoas

3-4 organic carrots

1 organic lemon

1 organic orange

handful fresh organic mint

knob of organic ginger

 

To fillet the aloe vera, run a knife down the long sides to remove the spikes. Then lay the aloe flat on the chopping board and very carefully slice the top layer of skin off, then holding the gel with the flat of your hand, put the blade of the knife between the bottom layer of skin and the gel and slide along the length until the fillet of clear gel is free of any skin. A little bit of skin won’t matter but it does have a very bitter edge to it so you wouldn’t want to let too much make its way into your juicer.

 

Put the feijoas and ginger into the juicer first, then the mint, aloe, citrus and  carrots.

 

I put a teaspoon of acidophilus powder into my glass first and then pour the fresh juice on top. Quick stir and you’re good to go.

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