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Fri Nov 27, 2020, 01:54 AM

What's your favorite super-simple, super-cheap, super-good food item to make yourself?

For me ... hands down ... my favorite is homemade salsa!

Tomatoes, Onions, Cilantro, Jalapeno and/or Serranos, and Salt

Put ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Done.

The simplicity + how freaking good it is is pretty much unmatched in my humble opinion. It's borderline magical really.

Sure there's other things you can add ... lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, and oregano for example. But you don't NEED anything but the five ingredients above.

So useful in so many ways too ...

47 replies, 1254 views

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Reply What's your favorite super-simple, super-cheap, super-good food item to make yourself? (Original post)
mr_lebowski Nov 27 OP
Demovictory9 Nov 27 #1
Cha Nov 27 #14
Demovictory9 Nov 27 #31
GrassClippings Nov 27 #2
The Blue Flower Nov 27 #27
The Roux Comes First Nov 27 #3
mr_lebowski Nov 27 #8
dawg day Nov 27 #4
LuvLoogie Nov 27 #5
Buckeye_Democrat Nov 27 #6
democrank Nov 27 #7
yellowdogintexas Nov 27 #33
WheelWalker Nov 27 #9
Cha Nov 27 #12
lkinwi Nov 27 #26
yellowdogintexas Nov 27 #32
RainCaster Nov 27 #10
TigressDem Nov 27 #11
LudwigPastorius Nov 27 #13
SeattleVet Nov 27 #15
Cha Nov 27 #16
jmowreader Nov 27 #17
TallMike Nov 27 #18
Freddie Nov 27 #19
LisaM Nov 27 #20
safeinOhio Nov 27 #21
Buckeye_Democrat Nov 27 #23
dhol82 Nov 27 #22
2naSalit Nov 27 #39
gladium et scutum Nov 27 #24
procon Nov 27 #25
Chainfire Nov 27 #28
Floyd R. Turbo Nov 27 #29
Aristus Nov 27 #30
TexasBushwhacker Nov 27 #34
tanyev Nov 27 #36
Aristus Nov 28 #43
JudyM Nov 28 #42
Aristus Nov 28 #44
hurl Nov 27 #35
2naSalit Nov 27 #37
mr_lebowski Nov 27 #38
2naSalit Nov 27 #40
2naSalit Nov 27 #41
lillypaddle Nov 28 #45
mr_lebowski Nov 28 #46
lillypaddle Nov 29 #47

Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:11 AM

1. veggie tacos

mandatory ingredients = taco shell, cilantro, avocado, tomato... then anything can be the meat... cooked beans or seasoned cauliflower

simple and tasty

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:56 AM

14. I'm a veggie taco person..

having lived in Arizona for 5 years & California for 15 years.. that delicious way to eat stays with you!

I buy corn or flour tortillas.. all organic & heat them up in a large thick steel pan with enough room to add a little water on the sides to steam them hot!

Gracias!

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Response to Cha (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 12:08 PM

31. Low calorie and tasty

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:22 AM

2. Now I'm Hungry

So Iíve got 2

Quesadillas are my go to. Cheese, chicken and tortillas.

Pasta, with a creme sauce and grilled chicken or shrimp.

So good.

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Response to GrassClippings (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 06:41 AM

27. How do you do your creme sauce?

Is it a white sauce?

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:22 AM

3. A Great Idea!

Like many of these though, getting the ingredients together may not be trivial across even the 48. I'm thinking about the cilantro and fresh peppers. And shouldn't there be a bit of garlic in there?

But allowing for some stretch, I would offer up home-made chili powder, composed most simply of ground-up dried chili peppers (anchos, New Mexico, etc.), cumin (!), all roasted just a bit to gin up the flavor, garlic and onion powders, and a bit of oregano.

That is not a recipe, I admit, but it at least limns the ingredients. Obviously more descriptive info is available on line.

I believe you will be amazed how superior the home product can be vs. the jar you find at the store.

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Response to The Roux Comes First (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:59 AM

8. Did you see my bit about additional ingredients?

GMTA ...

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:23 AM

4. Mac and cheese

I use whatever bits of cheese I have in the fridge and whatever veggies.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:42 AM

5. A slow roasted pork shoulder

Give it your favorite rub. Even just salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Set your oven for 250. 6 to 8 hours depending on how large the shoulder is. Cover loosely with foil. Off for the last hour. You can roast it with some sauerkraut, or just shred for pulled pork sandwiches if you can resist just tearing chunks off and eating it before plating.

Sometimes the supermarket will have shoulder on sale for 2 to 3 bucks a pound.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:43 AM

6. Several "Depression-era" foods are pretty simple.

https://www.eatthis.com/depression-era-foods/

One of the "secret ingredients" in my macaroni and potato salads is very bad for you, but it's what makes everyone rave about them during food carry-ins and such. Learned it from my Depression-era mother.

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and sugar. Beat one whole egg per each cup of vinegar/sugar. Mix together and heat slowly while stirring to prevent the egg from "curdling" in the mixture. If done properly, the egg will instead thicken it during the increased evaporation.

Then drizzle that sweet/sour "salad dressing" atop your noodles or potatoes already mixed with mayo and assorted vegetables with sliced eggs.

Edit: This recipe is very similar, with the author describing the sugar/vinegar/egg mixture as the crucial "custard" ingredient.
https://delightfulemade.com/2014/05/27/best-ever-potato-salad/

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:43 AM

7. My favorite is a Whatever-You-Have-On-Hand Vegetable Soup

Itís quick and easy, quite inexpensive and oh, so good. Each soup is different, depending what I have on hand. Hereís the idea:

Soup pot, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Not olive oil....butter

Throw in onion and garlic and sautť 3-4 minutes over low to medium heat

Add carrots and celery, sweet peppers, dried thyme, sautť 3-4 minutes

Add whatever additional fresh or frozen vegetables you want, just keep the sizes similar. I almost always add a sweet potato cut into smallish pieces, fresh broccoli cut the same size, some zucchini if I have it, maybe kale. I then raid my freezer to see what I might have for frozen vegetables like corn, peas, green beans and add a little of each.

Cover with water....usually somewhere around 4-6 cups and simmer (with lid on pot) until tender, a matter of 20 or so minutes.

Next step is to blend the soup....little chunkier than a purťe. If you want to, add a bit of orange juice- like maybe 2-4 tablespoons. The citrus gives the soup a nice uplift. Iíve also used lemon juice.

Then, salt and pepper to taste....plus add more dried thyme.

I sometimes add freshly grated Parmesan if I have it.

Any kind of squash does well in this soup. I frequently add butternut.

The beauty of this recipe is that the soup is different each time and you can add absolutely any vegetables you have on hand, even leftovers. Youíll end up with several bowls of soup for way under $10.


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Response to democrank (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 07:09 PM

33. we called it refrigerator soup, but my mother always called it"slumgullion"

I used to keep a couple of one quart Tupperware freezer boxes in the door of my freezer. I put those annoying bits of leftovers in one of them and the scraps from peeling onions, carrots, potatoes, celery etc in the other; when they were both full I would make soup

I would cook the veg scraps in water, strain them and make vegetable broth then use that to make the soup with the leftovers. I usually put a little bit of ground beef in it and a can of tomatoes.

Very cheap

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:07 AM

9. Oatmeal

with whatever nuts, fruits or other topping you have on hand; maybe a spoonful of yogurt or peanut butter, dried, fresh or frozen fruit.

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Response to WheelWalker (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:49 AM

12. I've been getting into

oatmeal lately after years of hiatus.. lol

I buy the extra thick oats and get the water boiling first & cook them with cinnamon for 3 or 4 minutes. Then put the lid on and set the pot on a trivet for 5 minutes. Voila!

I then add more cinnamon to the bowl & a small amount of Agave... maybe a banana.


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Response to WheelWalker (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 06:17 AM

26. Oatmeal it is! I've been eating it almost every morning for years.

I buy steel cut in bulk and make it in my rice/porridge cooker. Itís great with nuts, blueberries and a side of cottage cheese.

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Response to lkinwi (Reply #26)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 07:02 PM

32. I have been thinking about cooking it in my rice cooker

Mine has an "oatmeal" setting; I have wondered if that would work with steel cut; I assumed it was for old fashioned rolled oats.

Having it ready to pop a serving in the microwave would be nice! (also less risk of overflow! )

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:13 AM

10. Peanut butter and banana

Peel banana
Shove finger into end of banana, it will split into thirds
Remove one section and save
Fill slot in banana with peanut butter
Place removed third back on banana
Enjoy

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:29 AM

11. Crazy Coleslaw

I buy the slaw at Sam's Club - I know I should switch to Costco
The dressing too.
Then I put in craisins and walnuts or almonds.
I throw it all in a ziplock bag and mix it gently.

I might add baby carrots and/or grape tomatoes.
Sometimes slice up some mini peppers or toss in pickle chips.

I will top it with something crunchy like French's Onions or Crispy Dill Chips

Occasionally, I will switch up the dressing with Raspberry Vinaigrette or Spicy Guacamole Sauce.

But I walk in grab a ziplock, start pouring things in, close and mix.

BOOM - it's nummy in 5 minutes.

BUT I LOVE PICO DE GALLO - yours sounds so cool.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:55 AM

13. If you add cumin, garlic, and fresh lemon or...

lime juice, you donít need the salt.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:56 AM

15. Linguine with clam sauce.

Super simple. Sauce is just some olive oil, 2 cans of chopped clams, parsley, garlic, black pepper. I usually add some red pepper flakes to kick it up a little, and sometimes a bit of white wine of I have something open. Simmer everything to meld the flavors while the pasta cooks. Put one ladleful of the pasta water into the sauce, drain the pasta, then put everything into the pot and serve.

One of my go-to meals when I don't feel like messing with a lot of prep work. Can get from the "I dunno...what do *you* want?" stage to eating in about a half hour.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:59 AM

16. The salsa sounds great &

it's essential for Tacos!

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 04:10 AM

17. My infamous Noodleless Lasagna

You need carne asada meat or whatever thinly sliced meat you like, shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan and marinara sauce.

Step 1: fry the meat.
Step 2: make alternating layers of meat and cheese. These guys are single-serving food items, don't get out your casserole dish and cover the bottom with meat. Usually three layers of meat with cheese in between is plenty. Stick a couple of toothpicks in it to hold it together.
Step 3: put the individual lasagnas in a baking dish and pour marinara over them. Sprinkle parmesan over the marinara.
Step 4: bake at 350 until the cheese melts. Remove from oven and give it 5 minutes for the cheese to set up a little before serving.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 04:30 AM

18. pasta

flour, egg, water, salt.
Basta!

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 04:31 AM

19. Potato Omelet

Comfort food at its finest
Peel a potato and slice thin. Put in a shallow dish (I use a glass pie plate), add a tbsp of water, cover and nuke 3 minutes so potato gets semi-cooked. Drain off water.
While potato is nuking cook 3 pieces bacon in skillet, remove when crisp. Fry potato in bacon fat til browned. Pour 2 beaten eggs over potato and sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Cook til done, stirring to mix all, then add 2 slices of cheese and keep cooking/stirring til you have a wonderful browned cheesy mess. Serve with buttered toast.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 04:33 AM

20. Taco seasoning.

Garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano, a little salt, turmeric if you want (I sneak a little turmeric into many things).

Obviously you can adjust this to taste, but it's cheaper than store bought, you can add the ingredients in stages, and there is way less sodium.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 05:34 AM

21. Extra fast and extra extra cheap.

Eggs are really cheap here. Get a dozen of jumbos at Meijers for $1.09. Across the street is an older bread store for almost out of date bread. I really like the slightly damaged 3 for a dollar loafs of the darkest whole grain they have. Never more damaged than when I get regular bread home.

Take a soup cup and drop in a T spoon of olive oil. Crack open one egg and stir it in the cup. Put a couple of slices of bread in the toaster. Chop up any left over veg, 1 or 2 T spoons and stir in. Top off with a pinch of shredded cheese.
Pop it into the micro wave for about 30 to 40 seconds. Dump it one the toast and there's my egg sandwich.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 05:46 AM

23. I like that idea!

I'll probably try it!

Eggs are great on a tight budget!

Are eggs even sold in dollar stores? I've never shopped in one of them ever, and I read that their food is usually non-perishable only. Yet those were the only food stores that I saw when I worked in the West side of Dayton a few years ago, other than the standard crap at gas stations and such.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 05:39 AM

22. Cacio e Pepe spaghetti

Cook spaghetti, add butter, lots of freshly ground black pepper and lots of grated Parmesan.
Easy peasey and really good.

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Response to dhol82 (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:24 PM

39. That sounds good.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 05:52 AM

24. plain old white bread

flour, yeast, honey, water, butter, salt.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 06:09 AM

25. Anything I can toss in the instant pot for a meal

In 5 minutes or less.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 07:46 AM

28. Baked beans

beans, brown sugar, onions, sliced mild sausage, cinnamon. I brown the sausage and onions together.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 09:24 AM

29. Frito pie

😋

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 09:41 AM

30. Scrambled eggs.

Anyone who thinks thatís a hard item to screw up never had bad scrambled eggs.

Crack as many eggs as desired. Subtract one yolk. Add one tablespoon of water for every two eggs. Whip with a whisk until frothy. Cook over medium heat, keeping the mixture moving around the pan with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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Response to Aristus (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 07:13 PM

34. Yup. Scrambled eggs with cheese and hot sauce

It's my go to lunch at work.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:19 PM

36. Curious--what's the reason for subtracting one yolk?

Texture?

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Response to tanyev (Reply #36)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 12:57 AM

43. Decreasing the cholesterol level.

A nutritionist once suggested that I allow one yolk for every two egg whites. But that made the eggs too pale. So I went with the 1egg; 1 yolk -1 formula.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #30)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 12:02 AM

42. Ever try plain yogurt instead of water? It transforms it in a really good way -- more tender, nice

flavor. If you beat the whites separately for a minute first that makes it lighter, too.

Also if you cook it with finely chopped onions, a little ginger and a couple pinches of cilantro, awesome-good.

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Response to JudyM (Reply #42)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 12:58 AM

44. Sounds delicious!



I'll have to give it a try...

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 07:58 PM

35. Refried beans & rice

2 cups rice however you cook it (Instant Pot for me, use "Rice" preset) I add cumin and a little cayenne pepper for a Spanish flavor

While rice is cooking, saute fresh sweet peppers & onions to taste... I love caramelized onions especially. Pressure cookers remove onion flavors in my experience so don't put onions in there.

1 16-ounce can refried beans (most brands fine - I use fat-free)

1 10-ounce can red or green enchilada sauce (most brands fine)

You don't need to heat the beans & enchilada sauce. The freshly done rice & onion/pepper mix will cool to perfect temperature when the room-temperature refried beans and enchilada sauce are stirred in with salt and/or cayenne pepper to taste.

This mixture is great on saltines or burritos (add cheese if not vegan).

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:22 PM

37. What?!? NO GARLIC????

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #37)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:24 PM

38. I guess you didn't read to the end :) nt

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #38)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:31 PM

40. I read that line...

And I did not see that until just now.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:57 PM

41. This doesn't sound simple but it is...

Because it all ends up in a bowl.

Spinach Stroganoff. I invented it when I had a spinach patch that wouldn't quit.

For one. Takes about 20 min.

1/4 med. onion sliced for saute
5-7 med. mushrooms (I like crimini)
5-7 green cocktail olives.
a fist-full of fresh spinach
2 Tbs olive oil (I like 1/2 butter 1/2 oil)
1/4-1/2 Cup sour cream or plain yogurt
A good pinch of basil, tarragon or thyme and a whole bunch of cracked pepper, 1-2 cloves of garlic cut into large chunks you can stab with a fork, half a glass of wine. A few shakes of ground coriander. When wine is reduced, remove from heat and add garlic

one serving pasta

Melt the butter oil in a saute pan, add spices, saute onions, mush & olives, If you want meat add that and when cooked or browned if already cooked, onions should be browning... add spinach, when wilted add wine and coriander, reduce heat and simmer a moment. By now the pasta should be done, after draining that, back at the skillet, remove from heat and stir in sour cream, put over pasta in a bowl, top with parm. I like to mix all the saucey stuff until it coats all the pasta.

Lived on that for years. Varieties are plentiful and interesting. I'll have this any time I can't think of anything else to make for dinner.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 06:48 PM

45. Exactly mine, too!

I think mine is redder than yours, so maybe I use more tomato. I usually add a bit of garlic and a splash of vinegar, which tends to make it last longer (only in my mind, as it never lasts very long.)

Looks yummy!

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Response to lillypaddle (Reply #45)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 07:54 PM

46. That pic is more orange than it really looked, I have a new phone and haven't toyed

with the picture settings yet (it's very fancy compared to what I was used to, a 6 year old Galaxy S5) ... I think maybe it's the HDR setting being turned on that made it look orangish like that.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #46)

Sun Nov 29, 2020, 08:52 AM

47. Never the less

it looked good.

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