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Congee


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I use leftover cooked rice and the ratio is about 5 to 1.  But I also add water throughout the cooking process.  I've tried experimenting with stocks (instead of water) and also reducing the startch by replacing the water during cooking and it wasn't that great.  Just adding water and cooking the heck out of it seems to produce a great bowl.  As for topic, left overs with a bit of hot sauce and soy works out great.

Leftovers work well, with congee or non-Asian soups.

"replacing the water during cooking"?! :shock: No, no. You want to keep the starch so the congee would have body and not watery. You would lose that "rice" flavour also when you replace the water.

Aiyeeah!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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The ratio is 7 cups of water to 1 cup of raw rice at least that is what works for me. I would suggest using calrose rice for porridge making although any long grained rice would work in a pinch.

And pay attention, making porridge is like making a roux. It will splatter, create a mess and will burn if you are not careful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just made brown rice congee, and it came out pretty darn good if I do say so myself. This is especially cool because my bod could really use the extra fiber and nutrients that brown rice provides. I basically placed 4 cups broth and 1/2 cup raw medium-grain brown rice (I do like my congee thick) in my pressure cooker, locked on the lid, and let it go for about an hour and a half. The cooker valve made some slightly alarming spluttering noises, but otherwise behaved itself fine (I was worried that sputtering might clog the valve up). The resulting congee had excellent body, the grains still distinct but quite soft. Plopped a little fermented tofu in and had a very soothing dinner!

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I just made brown rice congee,

Aaghh. Something about brown rice jook imagery makes me quail. No offense, it's just me. I am proud to say that not a grain of brown rice has passed these sexagenarian lips of mine...ever. (Who you calling a traditionalist fuddy duddy??? :biggrin: )

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I just made brown rice congee, and it came out pretty darn good if I do say so myself. This is especially cool because my bod could really use the extra fiber and nutrients that brown rice provides. I basically placed 4 cups broth and 1/2 cup raw medium-grain brown rice (I do like my congee thick) in my pressure cooker, locked on the lid, and let it go for about an hour and a half. The cooker valve made some slightly alarming spluttering noises, but otherwise behaved itself fine (I was worried that sputtering might clog the valve up). The resulting congee had excellent body, the grains still distinct but quite soft. Plopped a little fermented tofu in and had a very soothing dinner!

Sorry, i'm with Ben on this one as well, the idea of brown rice jook seems...wrong, though it may very well be tasty...

cheers, JH

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Aaghh. Something about  brown rice jook imagery makes me quail. No offense, it's just me. I am proud to say that not a grain of brown rice has passed these sexagenarian lips of mine...ever. (Who you calling a traditionalist fuddy duddy??? :biggrin: )

Sorry, i'm with Ben on this one as well, the idea of brown rice jook seems...wrong, though it may very well be tasty...

cheers, JH

Ah well. Just chalk it up to one crazee Caucasian grrl messing around oblivious to tradition ... :biggrin:

Though I should add: if the pressure cooker had not succeeded in pounding the brown rice into creamy submission, I probably wouldn't have liked it either.

This might better be discussed in a whole new topic, but this isn't the first time that I've noticed that people from traditionally rice-eating cultures don't really care for brown rice. Are there any authetic traditional Chinese uses for brown rice at all? Or is it only mad dogs and Englishmen (figuratively speaking) who eat this stuff?

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Are there any authetic traditional Chinese uses for brown rice at all? Or is it only mad dogs and Englishmen (figuratively speaking) who eat this stuff?

I personally can't recall where brown rice is used in a recipe...and enjoyed. You see, to the rice eating cultures, white rice is held in almost sacred status as it represents life, purity, and a degree of honour to the server and the servee. Ideally a bowl of rice should not have anything poured over it like soy sauce, butter, juice of any kind and *horrors* sweet and sour sauce. The Japanese especially frown on this practice in a public venue.

Over the millenia, the stigma of eating brown rice grew, and eating of brown or unfinished rice reduces one to the porcine status, at least in my familial context. In my youthful zeal to adopt modern and supposed beneficial habits, I told my Mother that we should try some brown rice. Upon my word, she started crying, because she thought that I was fired/broke or drowning in the morass of penury. It took a lot of explaining by my brother to calm her fears.

Brown rice was forever banished from my vocabulary in my Mother's presence.

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Isn't the real reason for the non-acceptance of brown rice in rice-eating cultures its extreme perishability? I advise keeping it in the freezer-on the other hand,I don't really like it. I have heard that manually threshed rice is far superior nutritionally to that done by macine, which makes sense.

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My first experience with the effect "Brown Rice" has among the Chinese was when we opened the original., "Lindy's East" in Hong Kong.

To provide a "American Experience" we had imported some "Uncle Ben's Rice" and some."Long Grained Brown Rice" as well "Wild Rice".

Since "Rice" was one of the few controlled substances/products supervised under government control for imports we would have been required to obtain a special license that required all inventories and shipments be maintained for government controls.

They decided that the "Wild Rice" was officially not rice but edible grass. The Uncle Ben's was to be only allowed on a one time basis as a sample for testing and the Brown Rice was again a sample of "Animal Rice Feed".

This initial shipment was then allowed , with the understanding that we would not be importing any "Rice" in the future on our own, but could go through any official licensed purveyor.

Apparently the "Rice Controls" were for the purpose of being sure that there was ample supply of Rice available at all times for any local emergency always in storage to insure adequate amounts to feed the population.

What was a interesting experience was the effect these products had on my restaurant staff.

Uncle Ben's Rice when brought into our kitchen for testing caused lots of bewildered looks after my cooks observed the packaging on the 5 pound bags that had a picture of Uncle Ben. When I demonstrated how it should be cooked, again I received funny looks, but after it was finished it was even more strange.

The staff agreed it looked like rice, felt like rice, BUT it didn't smell or taste like rice in their opinion.

Next we tried the "Wild Rice", it seemed to interest everyone more and since several of my cooks had worked at the "Cathy Hotel", in Shanghai they were familiar with the product.

The one thing we didn't expect was after we opened the Brown Rice after one look our head Chef disclaimed. We will not cook animal food ! He adamantly refused to cook, or even considering serving such garbage (lop sop) under any circumstances. He said that neither he or anyone else had ever heard of anyone eating brown rice, and he feels that everyone connected to our Restaurant would loose "FACE" by being involved and his reputation would suffer.

Needless to say we never served anything but Texas, Carolina or Arkansas Long Grained Rice in any of our Restaurants.

The Uncle Ben's, Wild Rice and Brown Rice were given to the Employees PX at the American Consulate. It was the only place that had Brown Rice as they were exempt diplomatically for all imports of food products.

I did observe that in NYC and Seattle some Chinese Restaurants now offer Brown Rice as a alternative. I wonder if there is a niche for Uncle Ben's or even Minute Rice ?

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Needless to say we never served anything but Texas, Carolina or Arkansas Long Grained Rice in any of our Restaurants.

I did observe that in NYC and Seattle some Chinese Restaurants now offer Brown Rice as a alternative. I wonder if there is a niche for Uncle Ben's or even Minute Rice ?

Irwin

Pardon my ignorance, but why would you import rice from Texas, Carolina or Arkansas to Shanghai? Is it cheaper?

Was all the rice in China marked for export?

Is American rice of better quality?

There IS a niche for Uncle Ben's - the converted rice- They serve it in our university cafeteria. :sad: It's awful, and I feel sorry for the Chinese students. No wonder they move out of residence as soon as they can.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Isn't the real reason for the non-acceptance of brown rice in rice-eating cultures its extreme perishability? I advise keeping it in the freezer-on the other hand,I don't really like it. I have heard that manually threshed rice is far superior nutritionally to that done by macine, which makes sense.

Why would brown rice be more perishable? It's the same grain except it still has the outer layer of bran intact.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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It's the oil-rich layer of bran which is prone to infestation and rancidity.

That's why it's generally sold in small packages or by bulk, and not like white rice, in bags of 25kg, 50 kg, etc.

I tried eating brown rice for its nutritional value, but it just doesn't sit well with my palate. My twenty and thirty-something nieces "try" to eat brown rice, but they still eat white rice more often than brown.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Despite my tendencies to go for anything 'healthful', brown rice doesn't do it for me either. However, aromatic black Bario rice....purplish really, is quite another thing. I cook it 2:1 with white rice, for meals with rice/congee. Mmmmm.....

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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My first experience with the effect "Brown Rice" has among the Chinese was when we opened the original., "Lindy's East" in Hong Kong.

To provide a "American Experience" we had imported some "Uncle Ben's Rice" and some."Long Grained Brown Rice" as well "Wild Rice".

Since "Rice" was one of the few controlled substances/products supervised under government control for imports we would have been required to obtain a special license that required all inventories and shipments be maintained for government controls.

They decided that the "Wild Rice" was officially not rice but edible grass. The Uncle Ben's was to be only allowed on a one time basis as a sample for testing and the Brown Rice was again a sample of "Animal Rice Feed".

This initial shipment was then allowed , with the understanding that we would not be importing any "Rice" in the future on our own, but could go through any official licensed purveyor.

Apparently the "Rice Controls" were for the purpose of being sure that there was ample supply of Rice available at all times for any local emergency always in storage to insure adequate amounts to feed the population.

What was a interesting experience was the effect these products had on my restaurant staff.

Uncle Ben's Rice when brought into our kitchen for testing caused lots of bewildered looks after my cooks observed the packaging on the 5 pound bags that had a picture of Uncle Ben. When I demonstrated how it should be cooked, again I received funny looks, but after it was finished it was even more strange.

The staff agreed it looked like rice, felt like rice, BUT it didn't smell or taste like rice in their opinion.

Next we tried the "Wild Rice", it seemed to interest everyone more and since several of my cooks had worked at the "Cathy Hotel", in Shanghai they were familiar with the product.

The one thing we didn't expect was after we opened the Brown Rice after one look our head Chef disclaimed. We will not cook animal food ! He adamantly refused to cook, or even considering serving such garbage (lop sop) under any circumstances. He said that neither he or anyone else had ever heard of anyone eating brown rice, and he feels that everyone connected to our Restaurant would loose "FACE" by being involved and his reputation would suffer.

Needless to say we never served anything but Texas, Carolina or Arkansas Long Grained Rice in any of our Restaurants.

The Uncle Ben's, Wild Rice and Brown Rice were given to the Employees PX at the American Consulate. It was the only place that had Brown Rice as they were exempt diplomatically for all imports of food products.

I did observe that in NYC and Seattle some Chinese Restaurants now offer Brown Rice as a alternative. I wonder if there is a niche for Uncle Ben's or even Minute Rice ?

Irwin

Thank you for this entertaining and enlightening story. I think I'm finally getting it about the white rice/brown rice thing--it's not just a taste preference, it's not just a custom, it's got layers of cultural significance I hadn't even realized. I will therefore try to refrain from weirding folks out any further with tales of brown rice intruding where it's not supposed to go. :smile:

Funny about the wild and converted rices! Those regulatory authorities were actually correct about the wild rice--botanically it really is a different grass-plant than the conventional rice plant. As for the converted rice: a lot of Americans who care about their rice think converted rice is pretty disgusting too. Your staff had it exactly right--it may look and feel like rice, but that is where any resemblance to the real thing ends.

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Congee (or “Jook”)

Oriental rice porridge

• ¾ C rice (I usually use brown jasmine, and I usually use ½ rice and ½ Scottish oatmeal)

• 4 to 4½ C water

• ¼ tsp dashi-no-moto (instant dashi powder) optional—omit if you can’t find it

• 1 2” piece of dried kelp (kombu, available from oriental groceries)

• 1 tsp soy sauce

• 1 C frozen shelled soy beans (edamame)

• 1 14 oz block of tofu (prepared as below)

• 1 medium onion, diced

• 2 shiitake mushrooms, rinsed and soaked in warm water at least 15 minutes, squeezed, and sliced

• 2 button mushrooms, sliced

• 1 tsp grated ginger

• 2 scallions, sliced

• ½ tsp oriental sesame oil

• hot chili sauce (optional)

In a 3-4 qt pot, bring 4 C water and kombu to a boil. Add dashi-no-moto if you have it. Otherwise, add ¼ tsp salt. Turn down heat and simmer kombu 10 minutes, until water is slightly green. Remove kombu and set aside. Add soy sauce, rice/oatmeal, cover, and return to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in an 8” skillet, heat some cooking oil and give it a blast of Pam. Saute the squares of tofu gently until well browned, then turn and saute on the other side. Cut the reserved kombu seaweed into fine julienne strips.

When the rice starts thickening, add the onions, ginger, mushrooms, and soy beans. This takes about 20-25 minutes. Watch it carefully, because it can go from nicely thick to very thick quickly–you can dilute with water if you miss it.

Add the tofu, julienne kombu, and scallions and sesame oil just before serving, and stir in gently.

Squeezed tofu:

The night before, remove tofu from package and wrap in cotton tea towel. Put on plate, put a weight on it, and refrigerate overnight. This squeezes a lot of water out. Next morning, slice the tofu block into ½ horizontally, then into 3 longwise and 4 across. You now have 24 bite-sized squares of tofu.

Notes:

• Use any mixture of ingredients you want, including cooked chicken, shrimp, etc.

• You can use dilute chicken stock instead of the water and dashi

• Squeezing the tofu makes it easier to saute without spattering. Sauteed tofu adds flavor, but you can add it “raw.”

• You can add 1 Tbs miso (omit extra salt). It’s best to take ¼ C of simmering water/broth from step

1 and whisk in the miso, then pour the diluted miso back into the pot (adding the miso straight makes it hard to disperse evenly without lumps)

• Don’t cook the kombu or scallions too long.

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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Whose recipe is that? Is it fairly old? (The word "Oriental" seems old-fashioned, as well as grating.)

Tepee, I agree that black (and also red) rice is very nice, but aren't those actually different species than regular rice?

By the way, one thing I keep thinking in this side discussion about East Asians' attitudes toward brown rice vs. white rice is that in the 70s, the most widely available rice in Malaysia was beras kampung (village rice) -- partially polished rice. The fully-polished white rice imported from Thailand had higher status and was considered of higher quality, but we liked the nasi kampung, which was basically white rice flecked with bits of husk and which I think we felt was the best of both worlds -- rice that functioned like white rice in sopping up sauce but also had some tastiness from the husk. (In Malay: Beras = raw rice; nasi = cooked rice.) Now that there is no longer much rice grown in Malaysia, is there any hankering for nasi kampung?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Isn't the real reason for the non-acceptance of brown rice in rice-eating cultures its extreme perishability? I advise keeping it in the freezer-on the other hand,I don't really like it. I have heard that manually threshed rice is far superior nutritionally to that done by macine, which makes sense.

Maybe initially, but the fact is that white rice has far greater culinary value than brown rice. With white rice you can make all sorts of noodles, dumplings, cakes, and wrappers. What can you do with brown rice except boil it? (Really, what can you do with it?)

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Isn't white rice a status thing also-- like white flour? It shows refinement. I'd read that the whiter the skin shows that you weren't toiling in the fields and so were of a higher status.

I guess it is not a nutritional consideration -- traditionally, as it wasn't until the 19th century that machine milling took most of the nutrients out. Before that, the milling may have taken off the outer bran, but the rice wasn't so polished that it lacked food value.

In China, the rice tasted different. I don't know what kind of rice it was, but it had a flavor that I don't find here -- even in Chinese restaurants. Pan -- it had what you described -- occassional little specks of hull or something. And it had chewability.

Is it me, or does medium grain rice have a flavor different than long-grained?

As far as converted rice, because of the process it goes thru, nutrients are 'pushed into the grain' so that the end result is nutritionally better. On South Beach, white rice is a no-no, but converted rice has value.

Hate to say it, but the absolute best congee I ever had was at a Ramada Inn -- in Hong Kong .I think there was chicken broth used when making it, and it was tastier than what I had in China or what I've made -- even if I used chicken broth. My favorite toppings seem to be just shredded zha cai and peanuts.

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Whose recipe is that? Is it fairly old? (The word "Oriental" seems old-fashioned, as well as grating.)

Michael, that does sound dated and grating. The "recipe" seems to reflect the 40s and 50s attitude that any and everything thrown together can be called Oriental. They'll eat anything, dontcha know.

I will repeat it again. Jook is plain old white rice cooked in a ratio of 7/1, broth-water/rice ratio. A bowl of white jook should serve as a palette on which you add flavourings and garnishes. IT SHOULD NEVER BE DISGUISED AS A STEW

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Brown rice ---> Brown Rice Flour ----> Brown Rice Vermicelli, Baked Goods, etc...

I guess in theory you could do it, but you wouldn't be able to substitute it for regular rice flour on a 1 to 1 basis. I wonder how it would taste.

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Not theory. I buy brown rice meehoon. Tastes rather like regular vermicelli, but that's because I fry it with stuff, so can't purely taste the flour.

Interesting. The reason why I was wondering if it could be done is that whole wheat flour can't be completely substituted for regular wheat flour in certain recipes and must be blended in with the regular flour. I wonder if that is the case here, too.

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  • 11 months later...

Now before I get called out for blasphemy, here me out. I love me some nice, hot congee. Soothes the soul ya know? But I absolutely disdain the process of waiting it out, despite the set-it-and-forget-it method used in its creation. Sometimes, when you just want something, you want it right then, right there? Not 8 hours later, NOW!

I have seen cream of rice (white) and Bob's Red Mill (an organic line of products) Brown Rice Farina at my local one stop shop, and wanted to know this: Can I create a similar experience to it's slow cooked rendition, sans slow cooking?

Has anyone even tried this? I was thinking it'd do quite nicely cooked with a cube of chicken boullion (one with MSG, thank you very much) and dash of soy sauce. Maybe some doufu ru on the side, some chopped up crullers (which are sitting in my freezer, awaiting their radiation bath) mixed in.

Any thoughts? Criticisms? Evictions from the Chinese board altogether? :laugh:

Edited by jtnippon1985 (log)
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      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      It sometimes seems likes every town in China has its own special take on noodles. Here in Liuzhou, Guangxi the local dish is Luosifen (螺蛳粉 luó sī fěn).
       
      It is a dish of rice noodles served in a very spicy stock made from the local river snails and pig bones which are stewed for hours with black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise. Various pickled vegetables, dried tofu skin, fresh green vegetables, peanuts and loads of chilli are then usually added. Few restaurants ever reveal their precise recipe, so this is tentative. Luosifen is only really eaten in small restaurants and roadside stalls. I've never heard of anyone making it at home.
       
      In order to promote tourism to the city, the local government organised a food festival featuring an event named "10,000 people eat luosifen together." (In Chinese 10,000 often just means "many".)
       
      10,000 people (or a lot of people anyway) gathered at Liuzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre for the grand Liuzhou luosifen eat-in. Well, they gathered in front of the centre – the actual centre is a bleak, unfinished, deserted shell of a building. I disguised myself as a noodle and joined them. 10,001.
       

       
      The vast majority of the 10,000 were students from the local colleges who patiently and happily lined up to be seated. Hey, mix students and free food – of course they are happy.
       

       
      Each table was equipped with a basket containing bottled water, a thermos flask of hot water, paper bowls, tissues etc. And most importantly, a bunch of Luosifen caps. These read “万人同品螺蛳粉” which means “10,000 people together enjoy luosifen”
       

       
      Yep, that is the soup pot! 15 meters in diameter and holding eleven tons of stock. Full of snails and pork bones, spices etc. Chefs delicately added ingredients to achieve the precise, subtle taste required.
       

       
      Noodles were distributed, soup added and dried ingredients incorporated then there was the sound of 10,000 people slurping.
       

      Surrounding the luosifen eating area were several stalls selling different goodies. Lamb kebabs (羊肉串) seemed most popular, but there was all sorts of food. Here are few of the delights on offer.
       

      Whole roast lamb or roast chicken
       

      Lamb Kebabs
       

      Kebab spice mix – Cumin, chilli powder, salt and MSG
       

      Kebab stall
       

      Crab
       

      Different crab
       

      Sweet sticky rice balls
       

      Things on sticks
       

      Grilled scorpions
       

      Pig bones and bits
       

      Snails
       
      And much more.
       
      To be honest, it wasn’t the best luosifen I’ve ever eaten, but it was wasn’t the worst. Especially when you consider the number they were catering for. But it was a lot of fun. Which was the point.
       
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