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bleudauvergne

eG Foodblog: bleudauvergne

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I wrote in my notes that the consomme is perfect plain, but this was a reaction to the truffle raviolis that I put into the soup - which had very strong cheeses and was competing with the soup.  I think maybe something more complimentary would be nice.  Just one or two ravioli per bowl of soup.  Something like crawfish maybe...  Can provide any ideas?

Sure. I can think of two options. You can use either (or, of course, neither), or blend them as you like to find something in the middle.

If you have a tin of foie gras in the cupboard, or have it in your budget to buy a little, it makes for a wonderful addition to a bouillon. A few, small, delicate ravioli of foie. Even 100g of foie terrine (from a market) should do if you only want to make one or two per serving. Then make small, round ravioli - not much bigger than a quarter. Put a nub of foie in each. A little seasoning. If you can add a sliver of preserved black winter truffle, all the better (though no loss if you can't). Or (literally) a drop of truffle oil in each ravioli.

Alternatively, take the chicken and pancetta recipe (second one down), omitting the cheese. Make small tortellini or ravioli. It's a great way to use up thigh meat. Although I would say you should puree the filling really fine, and add a couple of tablespoons of cream. If you have a tamis, run the puree through it to make a more refined dish.

Or, if you want to extend things, join the two recipes together. At the last minute, stir some small cubes of foie into the chicken stuffing before making the ravioli. Bon chance!


Edited by MobyP (log)

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Luct:

Thank you so much for doing this again. Your blogs are a thing of such great beauty, both in the writing and the photos. And you set such a lovely table! I love your table top linens and napkin rings and proper linen serviettes. They're just gorgeous and so civilized.

I'm so looking forward to the rest of your blog.

If you find the cranberries, my recipe for Cranberry-Orange sauce with Grand Marnier is in RecipeGullet HERE.

Blog on, oh wondrous mistress of all delicious things... :wub:

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There are several lists to make this morning. I brought down the box of papers and chose a sheet of Fabriano cardstock (Leonardo). This is very good list paper for special occasions, because you can tear it into a shape and it will hold up all through the mission. It will keep in your pocket, and it won't get lost. Once a list on this paper has been in your pocket for awhile, it naturally wears at the edges. It's stiff enough that it will hold its shape and you can easily keep several lists at once on strips of it that can be dealt like playing cards or counted, like tabs. It's formidable, fancy paper. Important errands are noted on it. Sometimes I note tasks one by one on squares of this paper and count them off. Today I will make lists by errand destination.

I will also use this same cardstock for the name cards for the table this morning. I have taken out the ironing board and linens. My mother said that it's best to iron the linens when the guests come. She didn't mean herself. I do fuss the most when she's going to come, she is the most honored guest even if she doesn't know it. This is something I do for my parents-in-law too since they come in first with Loic and since they don't come very often to see us. I want them to feel special. Soaps, flowers and everything. It's a way of honoring my husband. My mother will come to visit in the Spring.

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I'm bleary-eyed and nursing my coffee, so forgive me if I'm less than coherent with my questions. May I say, Lucy, that if I were to live in Lyon or if you were to live in south central PA, we'd probably find ourselves friends. Forward of me, I know, but the sight of your notebooks of Tday ideas and your ring of lists for errands compels me to say it. At least in the area of organization, we are sympatico.

I can hardly formulate my queries. I want to know: how do you come to be living in France? Your dh's (so's?) name leads me to think it is love. Did the love come first or the move there? You seem to live so deliberately and thoughtfully, which is a high priority of mine. Do you have children? I find that my three wonderful offspring are a constant challenge to deliberate and thoughtful living! In western Europe, it seems more possible to achieve, but I am unsure how much that impression is accurate and how much is my romantic imagining coupled with the "vacation sensation" I necessarily have had when visiting there. (When I lived on the Gulf of Mexico, visiting friends and family inevitably mentioned how relaxing it must be to live there -- they projected their own stepping-out-of-their-everyday-lives-to-come-to-Florida onto my work/errands/responsibilities everday life near the beach. I'm sure I do the same thing about places I travel to and love.)

I'm fascinated by the way food plays into your "lifestyle" (sorry -- dislike that word) in Lyon. You seem to REALLY patronize market vendors vs. supermarkets. Does it cost you more in time and money to do that? Does it feel like a sacrifice worth making for superior ingredients or to support local growers? Or, is it the natural choice for you or is it simply easier than getting everything in one place?

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Lucy - I can't remember seeing better food photography then what you have shown here. I think that you must have a different Sun in Lyon, as the quality of the light is so wonderful, I don't think I have ever seen so much 'texture' before.

Nice egg coddler BTW.

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Lori, thank you so much for checking in with me and letting me know what kinds of questions come to mind. You can learn more about me in the other two eGullet Foodblogs I have done, Here's the first one (click), and the second one (click).

I hope I'm not repeating myself when I tell you that the reason we are here (my husband is French but we did live in the US early in our marriage) was because we lived in Los Angeles and spent just about all of our time driving between point A and point B looking for various foodstuffs. This is the dead truth. Our weekends revolved around ingredient/cheese/occasional burrito quests. Loic actually started raising his own levain and making his own bread during the week since the French bakery on Westwood Blvd. (I think) was too expensive and the bread was stale by the time we could get to the bakery at the end of the day due to the extreme dryness of the air. We couldn't even pull over to the side of the road and run in for a baguette without getting towed (this happened once - we were in there five mintues I swear)! We certainly appreciated the pastries they produced - the real thing. Super. And when we ordered the Galette in January, they asked, 'with or without the santon?' We were a bit perplexed since this cake features a little figurine or a bean or something for the fete, and she responded "we ask this because we don't want to get sued if someone breaks their tooth." So Loic, a few months after the Fete des Rois, had a positition as a researcher at the ENS Lyon.

I was Ok with the whole idea of living in the USA, Maybe not L.A. but anywhere, (Loic's job was at UCLA) but it was Loic who hustled his butt to make sure that we got here soon enough. He was the one who said - enough - but I was happy enough to come along!

I think that you must have a different Sun in Lyon, as the quality of the light is so wonderful, I don't think I have ever seen so much 'texture' before.

Adam, my dear. The sun - I look at your Tuscan Food Diary and ask myself what sun shines in this city Lyon? I was so inspired by that whole thread.

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I would like to note that there is a very important game (football/soccer) happening tonight in for the Lyon team in Madrid - If there is a lag in my posting I apologize. :rolleyes:

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After this afternoon's work at the national library's ancient collection, I took the subway to the evening market at the Perrache station. There was an accident on the tramway tracks and we were forced to walk across the bridge, and man, was it cold! They had lots of yummy things at the market, though.

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This Wednesday evening market is limited to producers only.

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I tasted this cheese and had to get some.

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I was especially dissapointed because my the guy I normally get my Poulet de Bresse from was not there this evening. His friends didn't have any news about why he wasn't there tonight. Apparently this was not normal. I hope everything is ok.

I was feeling a bit dejected and then noticed some other people had some poultry that looked pretty good. There was one place that had some very nice looking poultry. I decided to get a 2 year old hen (!) after all. These are some pretty nice looking hens, yes?

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These are the chickens they had, much younger birds.

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A hot chocolate at the Cafe de Carnot was in order once I'd finished at the market. It's really cold out there!

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Once home I put Henny Penny on to stew.

She was a good old hen and we thank her for the two years she spent on this earth, everything that she'll give us.

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Dinner consisted of scraps of this and that. I kept a little bit of the veal and the salt pork and kept some of the duxelles from the terrine. Whenever I cook something I always save a little something to use later on. I minced the reserved meats up with some fresh onions, garlic, some of my creole mix, a juniper berry mashed with sea salt, some pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and stuffed a bunch of little tomatoes. I had a pound of those ratte potatoes, which I boiled in salt and then sliced up and put into the gratin pan with some smoked herring and onions, topping that off with the rest of that creme fraiche. That was dinner.

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This thread is amazing as always, then the link to Adams thread, Wow what a treasure that is. You know I have been bumping around EG for a few years now, and I have finally, through many blessings, have been in a position where I could become a donor. I must say EG is a gift to us all and it is because of its members that we are able to enjoy cooking and fellowship as much as we do here. For that, I am Thankful.

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Lucy, I'm following silently and admiring every detail -- right down to the shopping lists. I await tomorrow eagerly.

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OMG that chicken still has its head. WOW, I've never seen that.

I dont think I'll be able to sleep tonight after seeing that.

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Lucy, this blog is so wonderful. It breaks my heart that I can't follow along more closely. Add my thanks to the rest of them, in case I can't get back in time.

Now I have to ask: what will you do with that chicken head? Why leave it on? Does it add flavor, or is it mostly decorative? Is the head a delicacy? (Some enterpriseing eG'er ate the brain on another foodblog, not long ago. Can't remember now who it was.)

When you say "It's really cold out there", how cold is it? I realize it's late November. What does that mean in Lyons? Do you get heavy rains, or little? What about wind? I've been admiring your gloves, so artfully arranged. I never can find such elegant leather gloves to fit my hands and still keep them warm.

Aside from bagels and (perhaps) cranberries, what are the foods from the USA you miss the most? If you were to move back to the States, what would you miss most from France? (Aside from Loic, of course. :laugh: )

Beautiful blog, beautiful photography. And...going back a few pages...I applaud your good luck and good eye at scoring so much Le Creuset at a garage sale, for a garage sale price!

Finally...to further the questions that may go back to earlier blogs...how long have you been cooking? How has moving to France changed your cooking?

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Lucy, since I won't be logging in tomorrow---or rather, later today--this is just a very quick note of appreciation for the photographs of the marketplace. I do hope there will be opportunities for more before the blog ends.

Even the hot chocolate in the white Segafredo (sp?) cup makes me nostalgic!

I hope your football team did your town proud.

And Bon Jour de Remercier...or whatever expats say in your part of the world when the door opens and guests step into your home.

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Smithy, you may be thinking of me eating a chicken head, though I didn't do it during my blog. It's good and not the same as all the other parts. And coxcombs are considered a delicacy. Casa Mono in New York, a tapas bar/restaurant, makes a dish of coxcombs in a wine reduction which I understand is a common tapa in Barcelona.

Edited to add: Happy Thanksgiving, Lucy (and to all readers who are celebrating)!


Edited by Pan (log)

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Good Morning! Happy Thanksgiving! Here in this blog we don't eat the head. Sorry folks! I put it in the soup for the soup - the feet too - :shock:

:raz::raz::laugh:

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Mmmmm.... chicken feet! Used to be one of my favorite things to eat, back when I was still eating land meat!

Such a wonderful blog with absolutely fabulous pictures! Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us!

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You seem to REALLY patronize market vendors vs. supermarkets. Does it cost you more in time and money to do that? Does it feel like a sacrifice worth making for superior ingredients or to support local growers? Or, is it the natural choice for you or is it simply easier than getting everything in one place?

It being Thanksgiving and me on vacation, I'm going be able to take some time to answer this question, Lori - Part of the reason is that one of the great things about living in the city in France, or in Europe, is that it is very easy to get by without a car.

We walk a lot, we take advantage of the public transportation here. We do have a car but it stays parked most of the time, mainly because sometimes it's easier and faster to get somewhere by bus, tram, metro, or one of the city bike rentals than it is to drive somewhere and find a parking spot. Gas is expensive, traffic is slow during peak hours, so we just choose to stick to the public transport.

Although there are exceptions to the rule, supermarkets here in metropolitan areas in France are attached to shopping malls, as an 'Anchor Store'. You go to the Mall, walk a certain distance to get to the supermarket, if you can find cart you provide a euro coin deposit to get one (which is refunded when you return the cart), etc. Once we've gone down to wherever the approved entrance is located and the security guard has stared us down and perhaps stapled the tops of our bags of any other purchases together, we find the products are rather homogenous. The produce for instance, even when it's the season for some reason the supermarkets don't seem to get vegetables with any flavor. That's the first thing.

The second thing is that once I learned about simple technique and processes of cooking, the more I realize when I go into a supermarket that the asiles and asiles of 'convenience products' just aren't worth the effort of purchasing. Why go? The more time I spend in my own kitchen, the more I just stare in disbelief at those 'magic mystery packets' of powders and chemicals that produce many things that many people have never made from scratch but believe it is their duty to prepare - These packets do not resemble the truth of food at all. Why buy a jar of mayonnaise, hollandaise, etc? What is in that mix? The flavor of these things are not even close to the real thing, and making the real thing actually is not difficult nor does it take any special magic skill once you know the recipe. I promise.

There was a time when I didn't have faith enough in my own cooking to make a cake with eggs, butter, milk, flour, salt, and whatever fruit or spices I like, and that was basically because magical mystery box of cake mix convinced me from a young age that making a cake was a long arduous task - not worth the risk of messing up. Suddenly I open my eyes and see that a cake is just as easy to make from scratch as it is from the box, fresher, cheaper, and tasting much better! We are talking about a measuring of ingredients which takes a mere couple of minutes.

My life experiences have given me a close up look at the process of world trade, when I was in China I used to work on the physical end of trading. I also have worked in the development of packaging for products, having seen close up the process of product and package development. It was fun interesting work, and doing it you see how simple it is. Pick up the jar of faded orange powder and think. Logic takes me to the distant day when it appeared as thousands of points of light on the screens of trading markets for sale by the metric tonne as soft commodities, sales hedged and timed along with world events to maximize profits, loaded and shipped by train, sea, and truck in shipping containers, divvied up, stored and bought over and over, and along the merchants path through to the factory where it is conditioned. These little number coded additives and colorants we see on the label are agents that enable it to maintain the appearance of freshness no matter how long ago it blipped across the screens.

The supermarkets here in France are just like the ones back home, and I find that I can find better fresher basic products right here on my block. I don't check the expiration date on fresh goods because I smell, look, feel, and make judgements for myself. It is not a mystery, choosing freshness. The meat section is my butcher, real fresh meat that never touches styrofoam. The truck arrives with the whole animal hanging on a hook, head and feet included, and it goes directly to his block, if he is a real butcher.

The produce section is the daily market, dry goods are found in local shops 'vrac' directly cutting out the 'shelf life' treatment, or if we're lucky, available through more direct routes from the producers in the new equitable commerce shops - the products are real, they're not cut with silica and the likes. The products are fresh so we'll choose them. We're now starting to see some equitabe commerce and it is is beginning to make some good strides here thanks to changes in logistics and communication and plain honest logic of people who are making a difference. I am so thankful for that!

As far as wine and bread, we taste and we buy it daily in the neighborhood. Our baker literally has devoted his life in choosing to follow his vocation and provide his part in delivering us our daily bread. In France, they have Fromage sections in the supermarkets and in my neighborhood they have the fromagerie. So basically, well, we stay near home. And we give thanks.

Today being Thanksgiving, I'm really thinking about my local commerce. There is no sacrafice in mindfully making these decisions. I will do everything I can to keep this local commerce alive, and that means even with products that are the same at the supermarket as in a local shop - the flour, the sugar, lightbulbs, scotch tape, etc. I will choose the local commerce in my neighborhood because not to do so would sacrafice, in the long run, not only our access to fresh good food where we live, but our quality of life and choices we have. These people have devoted their lives to something good.

-edited to fix a bunch of typos and for clarity of the ideas


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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Yet I..but it...-sigh-...it seems...thank you for sharing your thoughts and life Lucy. Your words make me appreciate my literacy in a whole new way. I'm changed forever, I think.

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It is enough just to make the right choices where we can. I understand that everyone has their own local circumstance... Time spent, efforts, eveyone and every place has limits. There are certain choices that Loic and I have made based on what we see and what is available to us. I am going out now to see if I can show you some of the people who make this possible for us here. :smile:

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Thank you, Lucy, for your well-put reply to my question. In my corner of the world, I find I am somewhere between you and Hamburger Helper. I live in a tiny town of 1100 souls, but we are surrounded by fruit orchards and are blessed with several small roadside produce stands/markets which operate seasonally. In addition, I grow herbs, tomatoes, green beans, squash, carrots, and salad greens. My asparagus patch is a delight. I cook mostly from scratch and, due to our budget and fairly rural location, eating out makes up a very small percentage of our food consumption. Both of these practices are my preference, though I remain grateful for the existence of convenience items like canned legumes, prepared coconut, and the odd can of broth when my own stash runs out. At this time of year, however, my family wouldn't eat if it weren't for the local supermarket. All of the produce stands shut down except one, which has apples and citrus fruit and usually potatoes. My garden isn't large enough to permit much preservation for the winter, either, so I find myself in the produce aisle procuring many of our veggies and fruits.

It would be possible for me to get dairy products and meat from local farmers, but I would have to drive many, many miles to do it, and in the case of meat, I'd have to purchase a half or a quarter of beef, for example, and store it in a freezer -- No stopping by and seeing what's fresh and wonderful, I'm afraid. I do get eggs from a friend.

It's so interesting to me to see how geography affects our everyday eating! Now, I shall post this and return to my lists and tasks and enjoy imagining you doing the same thing, only 6 hours later and in different light. :-)

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Lunch today was this scrumptious henny penny salad. I was quite pleasantly suprised by meat coming off the old hen, which was slowly simmered for a long time, especially the breast. This old hen gives and gives. She was cheap too. The first thing I noticed as I carefully removed the good parts was that this particular bird was quite fat - she must have been one of the priority birds in the barnyard - she had meaty legs with dark red meat, she was large for a hen, and strong, but also a thick layer of fat all over, so the flesh coming from the boiled bird definitely stayed moist and velvety in texture. The soup itself is chilling in the frigo and will be carefully degreased, in accordance with Jack Lang's instructions in his eGCI class, On Consommé.

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I prepared Jack's consommé last year with an old Bresse hen as a first course for Thanksgiving and it was simply shocking its beauty. Since the truffle ravioli (I purchased it from an italian caterer) was, I felt, a bit overwhelming with the cheeses, this year I will prepare my own fois gras ravioli at home so I can control the ingredients.

The salad was just lettuce, olives, meat, a crumble of some feta, with good olive oil in which I had soaked some chopped garlic overnight and strained over the salad, and some freshly mashed assorted peppercorns. The pepper mix doesn't show in the photo because I applied it before tossing, something I regret because since the flavor was so perfect in my salad, I wished it was prevalent in the photo too.

A glass of wine with lunch, 10cl of Domaine de Cibadiès Chardonnay 2004. It won the prize this year at the Foire des Vignerons Independents in Lyon. I thought it was pretty good for a Chardonnay, but also a bit suprising because I expected something a bit higher on the palate. It would go very well with game birds or even Turkey! I decided after the first sip to first enjoy my salad and then savor the rich and flavorful wine on its own.

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A chunk of pain aux noix as well.

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This must be a hard day to blog, Lucy, with so many of us cooking all day and not cheering you on. I needed a break while my pie crust is in the oven, and came to see what you're up to. That salad looks delicious. With the meat and olives, it's reminiscent of the rabbhit rillettes with prunes. I wish I'd had time to make that for Thanksgiving.

I'm waiting to see how you incorporate vin de noix into your menu!

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The second thing is that once I learned about simple technique and processes of cooking, the more I realize when I go into a supermarket that the asiles and asiles of 'convenience products' just aren't worth the effort of purchasing.  Why go?  The more time I spend in my own kitchen, the more I just stare in disbelief at those 'magic mystery packets' of powders and chemicals that produce many things that many people have never made from scratch but believe it is their duty to prepare - These packets do not resemble the truth of food at all.  

the truth of food, yes, that's what it's all about. Thank you Lucy for making that so wonderfully clear through your writing and your pictures.

I don't celebrate Thanksgiving over here, but reading about other peoples views about it and their celebrations here on EGullet does make me realize that I have a lot to be thankful for. As it happens, me and my husband just finished a rather disappointing dinner. But it was food, it nourished us, even if not deliciously, and tomorrow will bring new opportunities. I much rather keep trying, with the occasional failure, to strive for 'truthful' food - than to settle for the other stuff.

edited to add: did you bake your stuffed tomatoes in one of those silicon moulds? what a great idea!!


Edited by Chufi (log)

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    • By KennethT
      Recently, there was a thread about stir frying over charcoal, which immediately brought to mind memories of eating in Bangkok in July 2013.  At that time, I hadn't gotten into the habit of writing food blogs, and considering that I had some spare time this weekend (a rarity) I figured I would put some of those memories down on paper, so to speak.  Back then, neither my wife nor I were in the habit of taking tons of photos like we do nowadays, but I think I can cobble something together that would be interesting to folks reading it.
       
      In the spirit of memories, I'll first go back to 2006 when my wife and I took our honeymoon to Thailand (Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore and Hanoi.  That was our first time to Asia, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it.  I was worried the language barrier would be too difficult to transcend, or that we'd have no idea where we were going.  So, to help mitigate my slight anxiety, I decided to book some guides for a few of the locations.  Our guides were great, but we realized that they really aren't necessary, and nowadays with internet access so much more prevalent, even less necessary.
       
      Prior to the trip, when emailing with our guide in Bangkok to finalize plans, I mentioned that we wanted to be continuously eating (local food, I thought was implied!)  When we got there, I realized the misunderstanding when she opened her trunk to show us many bags of chips and other snack foods.. whoops...  Anyway, once the misconception was cleared up, she took us to a noodle soup vendor:


      On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers.  I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood.  I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice.
       
      This is what a lot of local food places look like:

       
       
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