I know I said no more blatant photo posts, but let’s face it, I’m the worst and am more than willing to shamelessly hurl my claws into the universal oh, I just moved house, I’m busy, life is hard excuse. In fact, I’ll shout it from the rooftops; I HAVE UNPACKED BOXES AND NEED TO PURCHASE 3M HOOKS, MY KITCHEN IS UNFAMILIAR AND MY COUCH WOULDN’T FIT UP THE STAIRS (true story). So, to celebrate my unceremonious return to Sydney’s inner-west (and the connection of my internet today), here are some photos of the newly founded and permanent residence of Sadhana Kitchen in Enmore.

Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen
Sadhana Kitchen

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Oh no, not another restaurant profile! I’m in the process of moving house and have therefore been eating everybody else’s food rather than lovingly preparing my own heartfelt and meaningful dishes before a mighty tripod. My insatiable appetite for posting #new #original #content cannot be subdued however so here are some photos for Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan’s latest venture, North Bondi Fish, taken in December last year just before their official opening (celeb chef power-up). If you see these images floating around anywhere think of me. Think of me fondly (or not).

North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi
North Bondi Fish, Bondi

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Here’s a real feel of the day: Who am I? What am I? How does life? If I visit the new Black Star Pastry without posting photos, did I ever really take photos at all?? Are you there, klout?

Commissioned by Broadsheet, you can read/see more about it here!

Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery
Black Star Pastry, Rosebery

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Rosemary poached apricot and wine poached pear crostini

Imagine telling our famished ancestors that some people these days create plates of food just to improve their SEO. “Oh, this isn’t a plate, it’s an enamelware prop“. “Can I eat yet?”, “no! I need to take a photo!”

I’m not one for profound reflection but if 2013 has taught me anything it’s that of the fine art (and dark art) of the facade.

I write in my about section that the “true value of food as a homely and generous act” is perhaps being lost amongst 1) the desire to articulate every single thing we cook, and 2) the need to document every single thing we eat. Articulation takes time whereas hot food on a plate has a considerably short shelf life as we collect our thoughts and adjust the settings in our cameras.

We’re shrouded in duplicate information of the hottest new Sydney spots and are bombarded with images of staged food. Occasionally people who make food at home for themselves/friends/family choose not to live in the delicious moment and instead place a board behind their dinner, delicately locate a fork at a whimsical angle and take a photo. Sometimes if the food goes cold it goes into the bin.

I’ve been guilty of this myself, though less so than I used to, so I understand, but I find the whole “recipe blogging” process irritating if it becomes a wasteful act.

Cutlery shopping is now “prop sourcing”, whipping up something new is now “recipe developing” and I feel the whole scene is becoming too self important with a disregard of spontaneity and generosity which, with food, is really important.

So my faux-revalation for the coming year is; keep it real and drop the act and facade of stylised food. Once in a while ditch the props, don’t worry if your photo isn’t perfect and relish in the now of documenting how things look rather than how you’d like them to look as you’re sharing them. Don’t listen to what you’ve heard, using flash can be awesome (Vice, are you listening?? I’m cool. Somebody’s even throwing up their rude finger in one of these photos). By all means go snap happy, just don’t berate your friends for eating a dish you generously prepared for them because you need to style it with a different spoon. Hands look better in food photos anyway and honest images speak volumes alongside the constantly artificial and staged.

SO! Here are some crostini I prepared for NYE (sans toasting, no time and too much effort); wine poached pears with a holy trinity of cheese and rosemary poached apricots with ricotta. They’re not heaps beautiful of typically photoworthy but that’s ok! My friends enjoyed them and that’s all that matters. Someone even shouted “ALANA ARE YOU BLOGGING?!” from the balcony as some flash spilled from the kitchen, and that’s ok too, because I was only “blogging” for a few seconds. Happy 2014.













For the poached rosemary apricots
Collect some generous sprigs of rosemary for your backyard (or local store). Dissolve a cup of sugar in four cups of water in a pan over a stove and allow the rosemary to infuse. Meanwhile halve the apricots and remove the pips. Simmer in the rosemary syrup for around 5 minutes and transfer to a baking dish with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with some caster sugar and place under a hot grill until tops are burnished. Meanwhile, reduce the poaching liquid and you’ll have a nice rosemary syrup to use for drinks and other things. Assemble by spreading ricotta on some sliced baguette, then an apricot half, then some fresh rosemary leaves.

For the wine poached pears and cheese
Dissolve three quarters of a cup of sugar in some nasty red wine you have floating around the house in a saucepan and add three sliced pears to simmer. Once tender (15ish minutes), remove with a slotted spoon and allow to cool. Combine 150g of cream cheese, 200g of feta and 80g of stinky stilton into a holy trinity cheesy spread (these are approximate measurements, add to taste). Assemble by spreading stinky goodness on bread then adoring with a couple of pieces of sliced pear.

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Mars Bar Slice

The Aussie “slice” is the lowest common denominator of cooking. Basic, ugly and entirely void of class it’s a “dessert”, or a black hole of effort, that exists only to be ridiculed (unless legitimately prepared by a legitimately busy parent… maybe). The butt of all my culinary jokes, the humble sloice is an atrocity that should be thrown into the bin or into the ocean or into a bin in the ocean.

This being said, my mum, a tremendous cook, occasionally made Mars Bar slice when I was younger and at 26 and child-less I thought it was as good a time as any to show my friends how much I truly care about them by serving an effortless (not a compliment) yet entirely iconic slab of chocolate and butter. I love you, guys.

And speaking of things I don’t enjoy (slices, not my friends), can we stop with the Christmas-in-Winter paraphernalia? Each and every one of my senses has been clogged with snowing icing sugar on cakes (no), cinnamon in everything (nope) and Santa hats because clearly we require extra warmth this time of year. I’m entirely guilty of this in my debut year as a WordPress-wielder but I’ve since moved on. Incorrect seasonal recipes deserve a swift kick into the appropriate hemisphere because this is Australia and all good Australians should respect their country by making a hideous slice at least once in their lives rather than preparing Winter desserts in Summer and anointing them with currants and fake reindeer. Put a mango on it or something.

I used a recipe from Best Recipes; it sucked when out of the fridge for a little while so try using less butter if you wanna give it a red hot go. Embrace the culinary filth, showcase your lack of finesse by doing a terrible job of cutting it into neat squares, stack them in a little tupperware box and take to a picnic to share around. Enjoy the warm embrace of cheap, melted chocolate in and around your mouth and all over your fingers. I dare you. It’s the easiest way to enjoy a genuine slice of Australiana. It’s gross but it’s the best… somehow.

Mars Bar Slice
Mars Bar Slice
Mars Bar Slice
Mars Bar Slice
Mars Bar Slice

Mars Bar Slice (from Best Recipes)
3 x 72g Mars Bars
90g salted butter
3 cups Rice Bubbles
200g milk chocolate

1. Line a tin, or your best Bessemer, with baking paper.
2. Melt Mars Bars and butter in the microwave, stir until smooth (the nougat part of the Mars Bars probably won’t budge though). Pour over the Rice Bubbles in a heat-proof bowl and combine until evenly distributed and the cereal covered. Pour into lined tin and press down until even (a potato masher works a treat for this).
3. Melt chocolate in microwave and pour over flattened Rice Bubble mixture. Smooth out and place in fridge for a few hours until firm enough to slice into awkward squares.

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I am only just warming to the disposition of walking around with a camera slung over my shoulder with purpose and confidence, however, when placed in a room full of fellow camera-wielders I begin to feel a little nervous, like ants are crawling in and around my headspace telling me to put the darn thing down. “The human-to-camera ratio all up in here is way out of balance, it’s almost 1:1! You’re part of the problem! Somebody will call you out as a blogger or shamelessly take a photo of your arse again! Photos-of-people-taking-photos-of-food-dot-tumblr-dot-com!! Stahp!“, etc etc.

Regardless, I took some photos in an act of peer-pressure on the day and had forgotten about them until now. Here are some casual moments from my nook at Good Food Month’s at The cook, the stylist the photographers… and the breakfast event in October. I won free tickets, cheers Good Food.

The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast
The cook, the stylist, the photographers… and the breakfast

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Exercise your right to #wanderlust by capturing the clouds. After all, you’re in the sky, you’re intrepid, you’re an urban explorer.

Have a picnic with friends new and old, celebrate a birthday, take a photo of #kooky shit only Melbourne has to offer and shoot each meal as if every plate were a badge of honour (or don’t, because you’re a self-aware blog-haver). Ambiguously instagram. Drown yourself in coffee and pretend you’re not a walking cliché. Stride past Messina and scoff, saunter past Lord of the Fries and surrender. Enjoy the company of your travel compadre and share a cake from Le Bon. Take in the street art, appreciate the urban decay. “Trams are so great, aren’t they?”. Triumphantly embrace the cold as if you were the only person on earth to favour the winter months. Find yourself easily impressed by everything.

Oops, camera is on the wrong setting, everything’s blurry. Ohh, it’s kinda arty, huh! So Melbourne.

Sigh at the airport and lose your boarding pass. Sit beside a horrendously scarred window. Try and take a photo of the world below and it sucks. It’s just a metaphor for everything, because everything sucks when you’re heading home. The familiar feels uncomfortable and your home city suddenly seems… questionable. Cool emotions, Sydney-sider; time to faceplant into the marshmallow bag you scored from Burch and Purchese at your desk.




























For the sake of food blog relevance, here are the places I ate at and would recommend to all: Cumulus Inc., Cookie, Fitzrovia, Proud Mary, Taxi Dining Room, Burch and Purchese, Padre Coffee, Queen Victoria Market, Le Bon, Slow Beer, Miss Marmalade.

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I promised myself I would avoid another “clip show” like post, however, my kitchen is being renovated therefore I have no means of cooking outside of a microwave and I wish to #post some #content. I’ve found myself taking less and less food photos these days, which is cool, a good photographer should be a Jack of Many Trades so it’s nice to learn-by-doing taking photos of nice spaces and friendly heads. The word “food” still hangs in the header of this humble website however so I’ve collected most food-related photos from good times recently at Broadsheet Sydney.

Although I don’t have any life-changing advice, my one take away from the past few months is simple (and a bit horrible); there is no greater feel than walking straight to the front of the mammoth line at Mamak in Haymarket. Sorry about that everyone. I’ve never felt more important in my entire life.

Black Star Pastry, Newtown
Black Star Pastry, Newtown

Hartsyard, Enmore
Hartsyard, Enmore

Simon Said Providores
Simon Said Providores

Nomad Restaurant, Surry Hills
Nomad Restaurant, Surry Hills
Nomad Restaurant, Surry Hills
Nomad Restaurant, Surry Hills
Nomad Restaurant, Surry Hills

The Cow and The Moon, Enmore
The Cow and The Moon, Enmore

Miss Peaches Soul Food Kitchen, Newtown
Miss Peaches Soul Food Kitchen, Newtown

The Clubhouse, Rosebery
The Clubhouse, Rosebery
The Clubhouse, Rosebery
The Clubhouse, Rosebery
The Clubhouse, Rosebery
The Clubhouse, Rosebery

Earl's Juke Joint, Enmore
Earl’s Juke Joint, Enmore

In The Annex, Forest Lodge
In The Annex, Forest Lodge
In The Annex, Forest Lodge
In The Annex, Forest Lodge

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst

Suzy Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher, Newtown
Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher, Newtown

Ombretta, Glebe
Ombretta, Glebe
Ombretta, Glebe

Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery
Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery
Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery
Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery
Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery

The Henson, Marrickville
The Henson, Marrickville
The Henson, Marrickville
The Henson, Marrickville

The Dip, Sydney CBD
The Dip, Sydney CBD

Glicks, Bondi
Glicks, Bondi

Mamak Village, Glebe
Mamak Village, Glebe

Bourke Street Bakery, Marrickville
Bourke Street Bakery, Marrickville

Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates, Stanmore
Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates, Stanmore
Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates, Stanmore
Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates, Stanmore

Gelato Messina, Bondi
Gelato Messina, Bondi
Gelato Messina, Bondi
Gelato Messina, Bondi
Gelato Messina, Bondi

Soda Pony, Enmore
Soda Pony, Enmore

Mamak, Sydney CBD
Mamak, Sydney CBD

Upstairs at The Bank, Newtown
Upstairs at The Bank, Newtown
Upstairs at The Bank, Newtown

The Cook House, Randwick
The Cook House, Randwick

Noble Canteen, Sydney CBD
Noble Canteen, Sydney CBD
Noble Canteen, Sydney CBD

Little Mule, Stanmore
Little Mule, Stanmore

Bread and Circus, Alexandria
Bread and Circus, Alexandria
Bread and Circus, Alexandria

Hollywood and Vine, Surry Hills
Hollywood and Vine, Surry Hills
Hollywood and Vine, Surry Hills

The Counter, Petersham
The Counter, Petersham
The Counter, Petersham

A Vinous Nomad in Surry Hills
In The Club
Gelato Messina Opens By The Sea
A Better Birthday Cake By Hartsyard
A Day in the Life of Belle Fleur Chocolates
Hiding Out In The Annex
A Farmhouse in a Factory

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The art of collection has always been a theme of #expression I’ve enjoyed well before I had any interest in dabbling in the creative arts. My dad has albums upon albums of photos, a documented history of friends and family beginning from 30+ years ago, and growing up around these stacks of collections is what most likely sparked my fascination with trawling gold-digging through large quantities of thoughtful images.

When somebody takes many photos in similar circumstances certain patterns begin to emerge. Or, more specifically, when I take photos of anything food related, small streams of similarities begin to surface and, with enough time, they eventually evolve into repetitive themes and creating interesting collections. Like my analogue dad, I have folders and folders of photos but instead of being stored in dusty and distinguished photo albums mine are sprawled on my messy drive filed under “Photo patterns / Collections”. At the the faintest hint of repetition I’ll immediately file it away, in a new little folder, hoping one day to have collected a coherent series of images taken over an extended period of time… slowly maturing, fermenting, like a fine wine or stinky cheese. Even as a teenager with a hobbyist holga (don’t hate, appreciate) I’d often capture interesting signs or familiar scenes for collection. Like Pokémon. If I ever see a coffee being poured, or a dog sitting patiently outside of a cafe, my heart irrationally skips a beat and I zoom in real close like a horrendous creep. It’s an unfortunate habit.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve taken more than one photo of baristas pouring coffees and, when viewed all at once, it’s kinda nice. Instead of a Lately on Broadsheet style series I thought I’d instead post some images from a recurring theme we’re all well familiar with. Same but different. I think it’s kinda cool. Or maybe I’m just trying to justify my digital hoarding (I struggle to delete outtake photos at the best of times). So although I take photos to document, I will forever love taking photos to collect… which I appreciate is all very serious for just a bunch of coffee pours.

EDIT 4/2/14: I’m adding more now that I’ve become entirely conscious of this potential collection.


Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery


Lemonia, Annandale


The Pig and Pastry, Petersham


Little Mule, Stanmore


Shenkin Kitchen, Enmore


Bread and Circus, Alexandria


The Counter, Petersham


212 Blu, Newtown


John Montagu, Woolloomooloo


Daisy’s Milkbar, Petersham


Ruby’s Diner, Waverley


Short Black Panther, Mortdale


Affogato Shack, Newtown


Brewtown Newtown, Newtown


Single Origin Roasters, Surry Hills

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S'mores Cake

I do not have a clever anecdote, relevant life story or poignant statement in relation to this cake, instead I can offer a few simple home truths. It was my friend Felicia’s birthday yesterday, she’s a pastry chef and therefore deserved a spectacle more thoughtful and curious than the usual birthday fare; rich chocolate cake, malty and salty ganache, crunchy crumbs and chewy, charred marshmallow. Sound legit? Well. This cake ended up so intense it made the aperture blades in my brand new lens seize up (no joke, I’m now spending my day off tomorrow visiting the camera service centre). This s’mores cake literally forced my camera into a food coma just by looking at it.

The directions, dare I say gospel, according to Momofuku’s class act via Bonappetit were followed to a tee however their signature naked-cake style was abandoned in lieu of my penchant for a good chocolate drip cake. It was kept messy all ’round since successfully hiding behind the guise of rustic when in actual fact I lack kitchen finesse is my greatest aesthetic flaw trait. If you enjoy your sweet treats tall and gooey this might just be the cake for you, a Momofuku recipe with a heavy-handed twist.

S'mores Cake
S'mores Cake
S'mores Cake
S'mores Cake

 

S’mores Cake (by Momofuku / Christina Tosi via Bon Appetit)
Milk Crumbs
3/4 cup milk powder
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons corn flour
3/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
80g butter, melted
12 tablespoons Ovaltine mix
80g white chocolate, melted

Malt-fudge sauce
1 1/3 cups Ovaltine mix
120g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)
1 teaspoon molasses
Pinch of sea salt flakes
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup glucose / corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar

Chocolate cake
60g dark chocolate
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup dutch-process cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
170g butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons glucose / corn syrup
3 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Malt soak
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons Ovaltine mix

Assembly
2x packets mini marshmallows (sorry didn’t make note of the grams!)
Brûlée torch

Milk crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 130°C. Combine milk powder, flour, sugar, corn flour and salt in medium bowl; toss to mix evenly. Add melted butter and stir with fork until clusters form. Spread mixture evenly onto baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake until crumbs are dry and crumbly but still pale, about 10-15 minutes. Once cool toss in a bowl with Ovaltine mix and white chocolate. Toss until completely coated and allow to dry.

Malt-fudge sauce
1. Place Ovaltine, chocolate, molasses and salt in a bowl and set aside. Combine cream, corn syrup, and sugar in bowl and microwave until everything has dissolved. Pour cream mixture over chocolate mixture and let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Whisk until sauce is glossy. Set aside.

Chocolate cake
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Coat three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Line bottom of each pan with parchment round and coat parchment with nonstick spray. Place chocolate in small bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals just until melted, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Combine butter, sugar, and glucose in large bowl and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs. Beat to incorporate then increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add melted chocolate and beat briefly until blended. Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and beat until pale brown, about 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among pans.
3. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20-30 minutes. Cool completely in pans on racks.

Malt soak
1. Stir milk and Ovaltine in small bowl.

To assemble
1. Rewarm sauce until just pourable. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of it in the centre of your cake board and place the first chocolate cake round on top (this is to ensure it stays put). Brush over a few tablespoons of the malt soak, cover with some chocolate sauce, just under a third of it (allowing some to ooze over the edge if you feel so inclined), add a third of the malt crumbs and a quarter of the mini marshmallows. Torch the layer of marshmallows lightly for that charred, s’morsey feel. Add a little drizzle of chocolate sauce and add the second cake round. Repeat adding malt soak, chocolate sauce, crumbs marshmallows, torching and more sauce. Add the third cake round. This time top the cake with more sauce then the remainder of the marshmallows. Torch those bad boys then sprinkle with the remainder of the milk crumbs and drizzle the rest of the chocolate sauce on top (a word of advice: if it begins to do the leaning tower of Pisa thing, don’t sweat it; it’s rustic and beautiful). Add birthday candles and you’re all set.

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