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Slow-Cooker Recipes


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We got a slow-cooker for Hannukah, and have only tried to make one dish without any success. All the recipes I found on Epicurious had some of the lowest fork ratings I've seen for anything on the site. Can anyone share any good recipes or a good source of recipes?

Thanks.

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We bought one a few years ago, and really only make steal-cut oats in it for breakfast. We start it the night before and then it's ready in the morning. The recipe's easy:

4 parts liquid (2 parts water and 2 parts milk)

1 part steal-cut oats

salt

Option:

3/4 part dried fruit (cherries, mango, cranberries, etc)

1/2 part liquid (to rehydrate the fruit)

set on the lowest setting for 7-8 hours

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Also a one-dish slow-cooker novice, who would really like to expand my repertoire-about the only thing I cook in my slowcooker (other than soap, whch you can also make in a crockpot-I do use a separate one) is turkey stock, made by throwing in a smoked turkey carcass, cold water, various onions, celery, s & peppercorns.

I've cooked different bean soups in the crockpot, & braised beef, but I'd like to try something different...

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What does one cook in the crock pot? A couple of times a year we pull it out and toss a chunk of beef or chicken in with some potatoes, carrots and various spices. It qualifies as my least favorite kitchen appliance but I think I just am not giving it credit or inspiration.

We are spending the day with some friends and returning for dinner. Rather than another dinner ordered, we'd like to have something warm and ready for us. Any inspired dishes out there? Or opinions on the crock pot.

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What does one cook in the crock pot? A couple of times a year we pull it out and toss a chunk of beef or chicken in with some potatoes, carrots and various spices. It qualifies as my least favorite kitchen appliance but I think I just am not giving it credit or inspiration.

We are spending the day with some friends and returning for dinner. Rather than another dinner ordered, we'd like to have something warm and ready for us. Any inspired dishes out there? Or opinions on the crock pot.

I used it a lot when we lived in Dupont Circle and had no functional oven. I made a pretty decent crockpot lasagna. And a not bad roasted chicken.

Mostly though, things tend to get pretty mushy in there. It wasn't great but it wasn't terrible and it beat get a sub from Giorgio's once again. A lot of the recipes out there are very 1950s, very midwestern (I'm from St. Louis, I can say that...), not terribly cutting edge culinary stuff.

I've been thinking about bringing ours out of retirement since my darling baby keeps me from cooking a dinner most nights.

Anyone found really good recipes?

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I've been thinking about bringing ours out of retirement since my darling baby keeps me from cooking a dinner most nights.

Anyone found really good recipes?

As my sister says, things tend to melt in the crockpot. So Hungarian goulash or Armenian lamb shanks or NC-styled pulled pork are all tasty entrees, and not at all Midwestern! (Unless, of course, we're referring to the midwestern part of Hungary, Armenia, or NC.)

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Mostly though, things tend to get pretty mushy in there. It wasn't great but it wasn't terrible and it beat get a sub from Giorgio's once again.
The crock pot never impressed me for stews. Everything tastes the same once it's all cooked, and prefer that the vegetables taste like themselves.

Beans do pretty well. I follow the instructions from ranchgordo.com: Put some sauteed onion in the bottom, then add cleaned beans and water (four parts liquid to one part beans). Turn to high and stir. Start in the morning and the beans will be done by late afternoon.

I've been thinking about bringing ours out of retirement since my darling baby keeps me from cooking a dinner most nights.
OT, but put the high chair in the kitchen, sit him down with a toy or snack, put some music on, and let him watch you cook.
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Cocktail Meatballs

One large bag of cocktail meatballs (Price club is fine)

2 Bottles Chili Sauce (like ketchup)

1 jar grape jelly (equal amount to the chili sauce)

1 cup of red wine

2 tablespoons dry mustard

Pepper

hot sauce to taste

anything else that you would like (I add 2 tablespoons BBQ rub)

Heat on low in crockpot for 2-3 hours, serves many

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This doesn't really solve your meal dilemma, but my family loves it for stuff like congee and dessert soups. Either throwing rice in with lots of water, red beans (add sugar to taste), or unsalted, unroasted peanuts with almond extract or powder and sugar to taste. Though along the thought of beans maybe some chili... My parents also like using it to make chicken soup - easier to walk away....

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I use my crockpot for pork and sauerkraut. I usually throw a little barley in too. Have any DR's eaten cake made in the crockpot? Mom used to make crock pot cakes that were incredibly soft and moist. There is a special insert for the cake which you put into the crock to let it cook. She gave me her old crockpot which holds the insert. Newer crocks are shaped more flat and wide compared to the old models which are round and taller. I've got some Galliano and am going to make a Harvey Wallbanger cake-one of my all time favorites.

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Beans do pretty well.

Be very careful with beans in a crockpot. Some crockpots do not cook at a high enough temperature to break down the toxins in beans (I belive Lectin is the main toxin). There was an outbreak of poisoning in Britain a while back and crockpots and red kidney beans were held responsible.

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A crockpot could basically just be an appliance for braising, right? So any good braised recipe (coq au vin, beef bourginon, etc?) seems like it would work fine. I'd probably want to brown the meat before adding to the crockpot, though.

Yup. I braise kielbasa in beer until it gets melt in your mouth tender. Acutally I cook it in there dry to crisp the skin, then add beer. I throw in sauerkraut towards the end if it's on hand.

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I use the crockpot a lot. braised meats (pot roast and its various ethic cousins, bean/lentil, and stocks). My favorite recently is baby lima beans. Carton of chicken stock, soaked bably limas, garlic, onion, blk peppper. plug on high and in about 5 hours, bean are ready. Served with rice and greens, it is a great veggie meal.

Love beans and lentils and I find that crock pot is the best way to cook them.

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I've been thinking about checking out this cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kauffman. It sounds like a much more modern take on the crockpot with some interesting soup recipes, overnight steel-cut oatmeal, lots of chilis, lamb, dal, venison, baked goods, etc. One review mentions that it can be a modern version of traditional slow cooking methods like braising, tagine, daube, while other things (like barbecue pork ribs) are better left to other methods.

With an increasingly hectic schedule, I too would be interested in any 'success' stories that folks have had with their crockpots. I'll let you know if I get the book (kind of hoping it's a late-arriving prezzie :( )

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I've done lamb shanks w/ beans a few times with good results. However, I can't bring myself to "set it! and forget it!" The first time, an overnight cooking, the liquid dried up sometime during the night. I slept well, waking occassionally to wonderful smells. It was in the morning that I discovered the burnt sauce.

The second crockpot meal -- I believe it was beef something -- also dried out. However, it was a sleepless night: I got up several times to add liquid. I decided then and there that I would never leave a crock pot unattended; a cat may have nine lives, but...

I can't imagine leaving a pot, let alone a crock pot, unattended for any period of time. I'm with Pat on this one; Ferment Everything's posts sent me into a panic. I was in a house fire as a kid and, although I don't remember what started it, I guess the memory of possibly losing what's near and dear has left its imprint. And, yes: I do unplug appliances before vacations.

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When growing up the only thing we used the crock pot for was beef stew (and then with sliced hard-boiled eggs for breakfast the next morning) and I remember that working okay.

I've only made one dish in my crock pot... NC-style BBQ. Get a blade roast or another cheap roast cut, mix up a batch of BBQ sauce (not anything like BBQ sauce in a bottle...) and cook for 8 hours or so. The recipe I use is fairly similar to this one. Hey, it's not quite NC BBQ but it does a serviceable job.

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A quick Google search finds about a bazillion pages with crockpot recipes.

Observant Jews are quite used to crockpot cooking. "Cholent" is essentially a generic word for a long-simmered stew that can cook for 24 hours or more. No work can be done on the Sabbath - which includes turning on or off appliances, lights, etc. So you can't prepare dinner on Friday night (usually you cook in the afternoon, so the preparation is complete before sundown), or breakfast or lunch on Saturday. Observant households will put the crockpot on mid-afternoon on Friday, go to shul on Friday night and Saturday morning (yes, leaving it on when out of the house). The Cholent is eaten for lunch on Saturday, and the crockpot is turned off after sundown on Saturday.

My father's family did a common cheat - goyish neighbors came in and turned on and off the oven for them. I have kept some Jewish traditions, but I'm perfectly ok with cooking and eating pork and shellfish on Saturday. :(

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I can't imagine leaving a pot, let alone a crock pot, unattended for any period of time. I'm with Pat on this one; Ferment Everything's posts sent me into a panic. I was in a house fire as a kid and, although I don't remember what started it, I guess the memory of possibly losing what's near and dear has left its imprint. And, yes: I do unplug appliances before vacations.
I encountered two kitchen fires as a child (fortunately, neither was in my house), and that has had a definite impact on me. I was about 12 and standing a few feet away when our neighbor's dishwasher burst into flames. That was pretty terrifying, and it was quite lucky that their next door neighbor was home and had a fire extinguisher. When I was several years younger, our immediate next door neighbor had a grease fire, made worse when she attempted to carry the flaming pan outside. In addition, there was a fire at my elementary school one day when I was in first grade.

To this day, if I'm in a public place and a fire alarm goes off, I'm out of there. Often I'm the only one leaving. In addition, I do not go out of the house with the dishwasher, washer or dryer on, and I unplug many appliances before vacation. The toaster is only plugged in when it is actively toasting bread.

I'm weird about the crockpot for these reasons and because when I was in college, my roommate turned the burner on under the crockpot cord and partially melted it. I patched it with electrical tape but, being in college, didn't want to pay for a new crockpot. For years afterwards, I only used it when I was there to monitor it because I worried about the cord. I've had two crockpots since, but I'm still a little anxious about leaving it for long periods, even though it's designed for that.

It's good for lamb shanks and turkey drumsticks. (The same recipes work but you have to pull the turkey out sooner or it disintegrates and you get pinbones everywhere.) I also make pork butt in the crockpot and then use it for pulled pork.

I know I've used it for regular pot roast, but this recipe from Heloise the only one I remember. I cooked it so long that it shredded and I served it with barbeque sauce.

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I love mine and use it all the time. I do oatmeal in it overnight for a no fuss great breakfast for the kids...whole oats groats and water 1:4, a pinch of salt, set on warm. In the morning it's perfect. I love sending them out with something warm in their tummies in the morning. :(

I use it for Bolognese, too, after the initial sauteing. Perfect for it.

I also like to use it to raise dough more quickly, my kitchen is chilly and has marble counter tops. Mine has a "warm setting" that works for this, I just let it get a little toasty, then shut it off, put the oiled dough in, and put the top on.

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I love mine and use it all the time. I do oatmeal in it overnight for a no fuss great breakfast for the kids...whole oats groats and water 1:4, a pinch of salt, set on warm. In the morning it's perfect. I love sending them out with something warm in their tummies in the morning. :(

I've tried this several times using still cut oatmeal with some raisins thrown in (ala alton brown) it every time it came out all slimy (it this just that way oat meal is?).

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I've never thought of it as slimy, but then, uhm, I pretty much consider oatmeal a mechanism by which to put butter and sugar into my body while fooling my conscious into thinking it's healthy because it's you know, oatmeal. By the time I put a knob of butter and brown sugar and cinnamon and maybe a little cream...it's not slimey, it's um..yummy.

But I agree, there is a certain amount of something kind of nyah in there. I cook flax seed fairly often and it's not as greasy as that gets, but there's a little bit of that same feel.

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Way back when, home fire extinguishers were often salt, a pan/pot lid, or water.
This was an electrical fire at the base of the dishwasher. Flames were shooting out from it. I don't know what would have put it out if a fire extinguisher hadn't. It was scary but still nowhere near as bad as being in a house fire :(. It's really fortunate that there were people right there to react to it (and not, say, asleep elsewhere) and that there was nothing on the floor right in front of it to ignite.
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I can't imagine leaving a pot, let alone a crock pot, unattended for any period of time. I'm with Pat on this one; Ferment Everything's posts sent me into a panic. I was in a house fire as a kid and, although I don't remember what started it, I guess the memory of possibly losing what's near and dear has left its imprint. And, yes: I do unplug appliances before vacations.
I don't own a crock pot, but I thought the whole idea was that busy moderns could throw things in the contraption as they dash around in the morning, plug it in, and come home to find most of their dinner done.

When I'm in the middle of cooking beans, making stock or something else that requires hours of simmering, as long as I'm using an all-metal pot or Dutch oven, I just pop it in a slow oven (200-300 F depending on length of absence) without worry.

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I don't own a crock pot, but I thought the whole idea was that busy moderns could throw things in the contraption as they dash around in the morning, plug it in, and come home to find most of their dinner done.
That is the idea, and it should be safe to leave, as long as the cord and plug are in good condition (not frayed, etc.). That's where the biggest danger is and was the reason I got overly nervous about crockpot cooking, since I had a damaged cord for a while. I'm now extra careful to keep the cord away from the stove. I also try to keep other objects away from the hot pot, as I've melted plastic bags and such by having them get pressed up against the crock pot.

I had a folder with several other crockpot recipes in it (including some for grains and other dishes that were surprisingly good), but I have no idea where it is :(.

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My go to recipes are chilli and oatmeal. For oatmeal, I do one part oats to three parts milk, plus a generous spoonful of wheatgerm (which completely disappears, but imparts a reasonable ampunt of nutrition. Plus salt. Bring to a simmer, set at about 225 for 8-10 hours. Although the appliance I have is more like this than what folks usually call a crockpot. I can set the temp exactly -- another advantage; the whole dealie goes right in the dishwasher.

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I don't own a crock pot, but I thought the whole idea was that busy moderns could throw things in the contraption as they dash around in the morning, plug it in, and come home to find most of their dinner done.

When I'm in the middle of cooking beans, making stock or something else that requires hours of simmering, as long as I'm using an all-metal pot or Dutch oven, I just pop it in a slow oven (200-300 F depending on length of absence) without worry.

I have a nice crock pot, but I find I only really use it as a sort of chafing dish for braises when I bring a dish to someone's home. I've never understood the point of browning meat in one pot only to then throw it in a crock pot. Why not just braise with the browning pot?

I like the stock idea though. Might give that a try...

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I have a nice crock pot, but I find I only really use it as a sort of chafing dish for braises when I bring a dish to someone's home. I've never understood the point of browning meat in one pot only to then throw it in a crock pot. Why not just braise with the browning pot?

I like the stock idea though. Might give that a try...

One of the reasons I don't I don't use a crock pot that much--uh, two reasons...browning before going in to the crock pot and making sauce/gravy on the stove afterwards. If I need to use other pans, it seriously diminishes my interest in doing it.
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If I need to use other pans, it seriously diminishes my interest in doing it.

Sometimes braise and sauce making is not required. I love Armenian Lamb Shanks -- throw 4.5 lb lamb shanks cut in pieces, 2 sliced onions, 8 tomatoes chopped (or one large can diced), 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. ground allspice, 1/4 tsp. gorund nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper into crock pot and cook until tender. (Length of time depends on the heat of your crockpot. The newer ones cook at a higher temperature. Make sure lid is tightly sealed. I have a little one that I have to top with foil, the lid, and a weight to keep the steam in.)

I like to do this a day ahead, skim fat off top, and reheat. Serve with rice or couscous.

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My experience with beans (cannellini) is that you have to add more liquid than you think you need, and someone should give the pot a stir once or twice, or the liquid will boil away and the beans will burn. Nasty. Thus, turning on the pot and going off to a full day's work is unrealistic.

By "full day's work" I mean 9 hours away from the kitchen.

But if you heed these warnings, the beans are mighty tasty.

If you don't mean to be away more than 5 or 6 hours, all is well.

Similarly, pot roast. (Chuck blade steak is best).

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I go through periods where I use mine quite a bit. Lately I have been using Chicken thighs, (you can brown them or not), Patak brand prepared Indian sauces, and add onions, canned tomatoes, garlic, whatever I feel like experimenting with. Towards the end I add vegetables, butternut squash, potatoes, etc...

I have never heard of a crockpot running out of liquid, usually it is the opposite, too much liquid. Perhaps it was left on high too long, or someone did not fit the lid on correctly. Or maybe it is just a bad crockpot...

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I have never heard of a crockpot running out of liquid, usually it is the opposite, too much liquid. Perhaps it was left on high too long, or someone did not fit the lid on correctly. Or maybe it is just a bad crockpot...
My tendency has always been to put too much liquid into the crockpot. When I consciously tried to scale back, I ended up with not enough liquid a couple of times, but I can't remember for what. In my case, I think it's leaving on high too long.
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Has anyone ever made rice in the slow cooker? I'm debating trying this with brown rice since whenever I make it on the stove its always still a little crunchy, and I don't really have room in my kitchen for a rice cooker.

Dunno if this would end up under some sort of rice thread. Two ways of handling brown rice... 1. Pressure cooker, 2. In a steamer I have to cook it twice, so I assume that maybe you need to do a second round of water and cooking.

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Has anyone ever made rice in the slow cooker? I'm debating trying this with brown rice since whenever I make it on the stove its always still a little crunchy, and I don't really have room in my kitchen for a rice cooker.
Is it brown rice (or wild rice)? I haven't made it in the crock pot, but if it's brown rice I'm wondering if you could use the same method that is used for wild rice. Basically, boil the rice in a lot of water (not the 2 to 1 ratio or whatever it is) until it's cooked the way you want it and then drain it. Works great for wild rice.
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Bump.

We got a good deal on a crock-pot at Costco, but it is not such a good deal when it still sits in its original box. Does anybody have any good recipes to share?

So many, here's a quick one for spicy Lebanese sausage with tumeric rice.

One of the many keys to good slow cooker results is browning the meat first.

It boosts flavor, like with this ground bison and mushroom dish.

But sometimes you can get away without browning anything, like this whole-chicken-in-a-pot.

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I recently made Barbacoa by adapting this recipe. I followed it as written except that I browned the meat in a skillet and then combined everything in my slow cooker and cooked it on Low for about 8 hours. We were very happy with the results.

I've also made carnitas recently, but I misplaced the recipe. When I find it, I'll post it.

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I recently recieved a hand-me down crock pot and gave it a whirl making BBQ beef brisket. It seems like the crockpot is good for anything you want super tender/falling off the bone. I read through the little guide/recipe book circa 1982 that came with it and it had some odd suggestions - like use no or as little water possible and meat cooks quicker than vegetables in it. I haven't tested the veracity of these counter-intuitive statements but seems like you could get a really tender braise-like texture of meat minus the braising liquid. Not sure what the advantage of that would be except maybe for BBQ beef like I made where some people like BBQ sauce and some want little to none.

As for the brisket it turned out pretty well. It was a 2+ Ib piece of kosher brisket I got at Trader Joe's with some fat layer left but not covering the whole side. First, I put on a salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cumin rub with canola oil on it. To create some smoky flavor since it wouldn't actually be smoked (I only have a gas grill and didn't want it to run all day and also had no wood chips). Then, I seared it on the grill for about 5-10 minutes per side (maybe should have been a bit less as some ends were a bit burnt, although I know some people like that). After that I put a very small 1/4 cup or so of BBQ sauce in the bottom of the crockpot, plopped in the seared brisket, added a few tablespoons more of BBQ sauce on top and set it to low. After 9 hours, it was very moist, pull apart tender with only a 1/2 inch of melted sauce/fat/liquids in the bottom of the pot. It was good plain, better with some extra BBQ sauce as a sandwich. I think I'll make this again as I've come to realize that I like beef BBQ to be covered in sweet, tangy sauce and really tender, not necessarily the extra smoky, no sauce Texas-style sliced brisket (I was so excited, then disappointed by Hill Country when I ate there was realized that this just wasn't my taste). So I'm not sure whether it would have been even better with more or less liquid for the long pot cook. Thoughts?

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I like your thinking in the method that you used and will take note of it.

What I've found is that if I'm going to put a low & slow/braising piece of meat in the slow cooker, I will season it and put it in dry for about an hour, then add the braising liquid after. In my experience, this allows the meat to really get seasoned as the s&p seems to "take" and meld with the meat, whereas I found the seasoning washed off when the meat was started with the braising liquid.

For my ribs i did recently, it was seasoned heavily/rubbed and wrapped in plastic for a couple hours (up to overnight) and then braised in foil, with the liquid right away, in a low oven. After it was fork tender, the braising liquid was poured off (Alton Brown recipe that calls for reducing the braising liquid into a glaze and no thank you) and the ribs were caramelized under the broiler (could also be done on the grill at that point, you just need a source of high heat) with my chosen bbq sauce for caramelization.

I also think you could slow braise/cook in the oven or slow cooker until tender, then smoke/caramelize on the grill to get that flavor and finish.

For my ribs, the smoke came from smoked paprika and cumin.

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I do a stupid-easy (about all I'm capable of these days) version of jerked beef in the crockpot-chuck roast, s&p on one side, put in that side down in contact w/ the bottom & sides of a round crockpot, couple of splashes of St. Ann's Bay Jamaican jerk marinade-sometimes, I add in onions, but it's delicicious w/out. My recently lapsed pescetarian daughter (who has returned to eating meat after a couple of years) requested this, she's retasting all the things she missed as a semi-vegetarian.

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