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History of St. Patrick's Day  &  Recipe to make Corned Beef 

The modern day celebration of St. Patrick’s Day: parades, festivals, iconic food (corned beef and cabbage) and drink (green beer and Guinness) to the “ wearing of the green” and shamrocks has almost nothing to do the with Saint Patrick, whom by the way wasn’t even Irish!

Patrick was born into an aristocratic Romano-British family around A.D. 390. At the age of 16 he was kidnapped and sent to tend sheep in the mountainous countryside of Ireland; he was basically ​a slave. While there he became a deeply devout Christian. After six years he escaped, reunited with his family, eventually became an ordained priest and ultimately returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. He died on March 17, 461 at the age of 71. It wasn’t until centuries later that he was honored as the patron Saint of Ireland.

Up until the 1970s St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was a minor religious holiday. It was acknowledged with a worship service and celebrated with a family meal. “St. Patrick’s Day” was basically invented in America by Irish-Americans as a way to reconnect with their Irish roots. Parades were held to confirm ethnic identity and create bonds of solidarity. Current day tradition calls for everyone to wear a piece of green or be “affectionately” pinched. Pinning a shamrock on one’s green sweater might be the closest association with St. Patrick, as he used the three-leaf plant to explain the Christian holy trinity: the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

On St. Paddy’s Day everyone is Irish and countess merrymakers around the world delight in copious amounts of corned beef and numerous pints of Guinness! Approximately 5.5 million pints are consumed around the world on a daily bases but that number more than doubles on March 17th.

Corned beef is a salt-cured product. The term comes from the treatment of the meat with grained rock salt, also called "corns" of salt as they are roughly the same size. Many recipes and supermarket packages of corned beef include sodium nitrite, which makes the meat retain a red color . This chemical, also known as potassium nitrate (think gun powder!) reacts with the purple color pigments in the meat, thus turning them pink to red. We don't add this chemical for many reasons. If the “pink” color is absolutely a requirement for you add a grated red beet to the marinating brine.

Corning beef is as easy as brining a whole turkey. Planning 5-7 days in advance of your meal will be the most challenging part! Any cut of beef can be "corned", however, the best cuts are the tougher, less-expensive ones such as brisket- think low and slow. It’s a simple but rewarding meal to prepare for family and friends! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Recipe for Home-Corned Beef Brisket and Vegetables

Serves 8 with Leftovers

½ cup kosher salt

7 tablespoons Heart Rock’s Corned Beef Spice Blend (5T for curing, 2T in cheesecloth for cooking)

1 beef brisket (6-8 pounds) called either “first cut” or “flat cut”, trimmed leaving ¼” layer of fat

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 12 oz. bottles hard cider (or regular cider if you can’t find)

½ cup Irish whiskey (or low-sodium chicken broth)

4-5 cups of water

6 pounds of prepared vegetables of choice ( carrots, new potatoes, turnips, boiling onions, small green cabbage, parsnips) peeled, and cut into similar size, small new potatoes can be left whole, blemished leaves removed from cabbage, do not core, cut into 6-8 wedges,

1. Mix salt with ¼ cup of Heart Rock’s Corned Beef Spice Blend in a small bowl. Spear the meat with a meat fork, penetrating through the fat about 25 times per side. Rub spice blend evenly on both sides, side into a 2 gallon zipper-lock bag, forcing out the air, OR we use a “food saver” and vacuum the air out. Place on a sheet pan large enough to hold the meat, cover with a slightly smaller or a  slightly larger sized pan, weight with 2 -3 bricks. Refrigerate for 5 to 7 days, (the longer the better) turning every other day. After time in the refrigerator, thoroughly rinse the meat under cold water to remove the salt and spice mixture then pat dry.

2. Place meat in a large Dutch oven or stockpot (6-8 quarts) add water to cover 1 inch, bring the brisket to a boil over medium-high heat, skim off foam that rises to the top. Cook for 7-10 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate, discard the water and wipe out the pot. Return the beef to the pot, add the spice bundle (2 tablespoons in cheesecloth)  honey, brown sugar, cider, whiskey or chicken broth and 4-5 cups of water, (liquid should cover meat by 1 inch) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so the liquid simmers. Cover, cook 1 ½ hours then flip the meat, cook for another 1 ½ hours, until a skewer inserted in the thickest part of the brisket slides out with ease. (Can be stored in the fridge for up to three days at this point).

3. Transfer the meat to a large rimmed platter, ladle about 1 cup of the cooking liquid over it to keep it moist. Loosely cover with foil, place in a 225 degree oven,. While the vegetables are being prepared.

4. If using carrots, new potatoes or turnips, add them first to the pot, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer, cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, cabbage and parsnips, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer until all the vegetables are tender, another 10 to 15 minutes. 

5. Meanwhile, remove the meat from the oven, cut it in half, along the grain of the meat and then across the grain into ¼ inch slices. Place on the heated platter, add the vegetables, moisten with additional broth and serve.


Corned beef hash with eggs, a classic Ruben sandwich or stuff cabbage rolls




1 cup brown rice cooked with 1 tablespoon of Heart Rock's Mexican Blend

1 container (2lbs.) "Del Real" Carnitas from Costco

1 onion, diced

1 cup red bell peppers, diced

2 cans diced tomatoes with juice or 4-5 fresh tomatoes, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 jar of La Victoria "thick 'n chunky salsa verde

2 cups canned black beans, rinsed

1 tablespoon of Heart Rock's Mexican Blend

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

 1 avocado, diced

2 green onions, sliced

1 cup of Jack or Cheddar cheese, shredded off a "block"

1. Cook rice with Mexican Blend according to the directions, keep warm.

2. Cook pork in microwave according to directions, remove from plastic package.

3. Saute onion and bell peppers, add the diced tomatoes, celery, Salsa Verde, black beans and 1 tablespoon of Heart Rock's Mexican blend, cook for ten minutes, add hot pork and cooked rice, stir  gently to combine, warm through if necessary.

4. To Serve: Top with cilantro, avocados, green onions and cheese. Serve with warm tortillas.

                                                     JAMAICAN JERK LAMB__________________________

Marinate a 3 1/2 pound leg of lamb in 2 tablespoons of Heart Rock's Jamaican Jerk Blend and 4 tablespoons of rum in a zip-lock freezer bag for at least 5 hours or overnight. Remove from the bag at least 1 hour before grilling. Grill for 8-10 minutes on medium-high heat, turn over and then turn down the heat to medium, grill another 8-10 minutes for medium rare. 

Additional ways to enjoy our Jamaican Jerk Blend:

Rub on chicken, beef or pork; sprinkle on pizza; replace chili seasoning with Jam. Jerk; incorporate into meatloaf or burger - mix 1 tablespoon of blend per 1 lb. of meat; mix with mayo, yogurt or cream cheese as a dip or sandwich spread; combine with mayo for deviled eggs; use in a stir fry medley; add to pasta sauce; mix into chopped avocados and tomatoes for a "Jamin" salsa dip. 

Wold Famous Fish Curry

Serves 4

3 tablespoons Heart Rock’s Curry Blend

2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, dry-roasted in a pan

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, dry-roasted in the same pan but after coconut

3 tablespoons fresh garlic cloves, crushed

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cups onion, chopped

2 lbs. cod or haddock fillets, cut into 3” pcs

2 tablespoons mango chutney

 1. Combine Heart Rock’s Curry Blend with the dry-roasted coconut & sesame seeds and fresh garlic.

2. Heat the oil and add the onions, cook for 10 minutes, add the fish. GENTLY toss, Cover and cook 5-7 min

3. Add the spice combination, stir gently for 1 minute. The fillets can break up easily. Stir in the mango chutney (yes gently), cover and simmer for another 8 minutes or until the fish is tender, do not overcook

4. Serve with hot basmati rice (remember to rinse well before cooking) on a very warm platter.

Curried Brussels Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

2 cups sweet potato, cut into 2” cubes (either yellow or red skinned)

1 pound Brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed, outer leaves stripped and then halved

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons Heart Rock’s Curry Blend

1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 can (13.5oz.) coconut milk (You can use the Lite, it will reduce the calories, but also the full flavor) L

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

 1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add H.R.’s Curry Blend, stir 1 minute. Add the broth and coconut milk, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, 10 minutes, add the green onions, cook 5 minutes.

3. Add the ginger & garlic, stir, cook 2 more minutes. Add the lime juice & cilantro. Season with S & P to taste.

This dish would be considered a “wet” curry, while the fish dish above is a “dry” curry. Both are delicious!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves 4


½ cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons Heart Rock herb & Spice Co. Tikka MasalaBlend

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (half will be used in the marinade the other half in the sauce)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2 inch pieces

4 long metal skewers or water soaked bamboo skewers - if grilling

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of jarred garlic

1 small jalapeno pepper, finely minced or 1 or 2 Tablespoons canned green chiles

1 8oz. can tomato sauce OR (2 Roma tomatoes, ½ cup tomato paste & ¼ cup water,) increase if you

want the U. K. saucier version!

1 teaspoon of Garam Masala

1 cup heavy cream or more for a saucier dish

½ bunch cilantro for garnish

1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 1 tablespoons Heart Rock's Tikka Masala Blend,

salt & 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger. Stir in chicken, cover, refrigerate, 5 hrs. or more if you have time!

2. Preheat a grill for high heat or oven to 400 degrees.

3. Lightly oil the grill if using or lightly grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil.

4. Thread chicken onto the skewers; grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes each side. If cooking in

oven, place pieces on baking sheet, leaving space between each. Discard the marinade. Cook until

browned and no longer pink, about 10 minutes.

5. Start Saucebefore the chicken is cooked. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion, cook about 4-5 minutes, stir in ginger, garlic, and green chiles, sauté about 15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes or (sauce / paste version), simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remainder of the Tikka Masala and Garam Masala, and heavy cream, cook 10 minutes Mix in the cookedchicken, stir to coat, cover & simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and garnish with fresh cilantro

OPTIONAL: Add a can of rinsed chick peas the last 10 minutes of cooking and one 1 cup of frozen green peas the final 5 minutes for a complete meal. The liquid ingredients will need to be increase because of the extra ingredients.  

Malaysian Coconut Chicken Soup

Serves 4


5 cups coconut milk (increase to 7 cups if optional rice and vegetables are added)

1 1/2 tablespoons of Heart Rock's Malaysian spice blend

2 tablespoons chopped lemon grass (peel outer layer to reveal the softer inside)

1 Kaffir lime leaf or substitute the zest of one lime as well as juice from half)

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh ginger

1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (if cooking your own poach in 2 teaspoons of the spice)

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 cup cooked rice -optional

1 cup partially cooked diced vegetables - optional

Mix all the ingredients except chicken, optional rice & vegetables and green onions in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and then quickly reduce the heat to a rolling simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain the soup into a clean pot, add the chicken, cooked rice and vegetables if using.

Gently simmer for 10 minutes.

Garnish with green onion.

Malaysian Chicken Satés

4 stalks lemongrass, chopped

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 shallots, coarsely chopped

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced

5 tablespoons Heart Rock's Malaysian Spice Blend

6 tablespoons vegetable oil (3 for cooking 3 for grill)

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

4 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken

2 English cucumbers, cut into 3/4” dice, placed in a serving bowl

Bamboo Skewers soaked in water for 15 minutes or metal skewers

Creamy Asian Peanut Sauce, recipe is provided below 

1. Place chopped lemongrass (discard outside layer before chopping, use 4" or 5" from the thick end of each stock), garlic, shallots and ginger in a heavy mortar and pound with pestle to a coarse paste. Mix the Malaysian spice blend with 3 tablespoons of the oil and coconut milk, combine with the paste.

2. Cut each chicken breast in half, length wise (not across) then cut each half into long strips about ½" wide. Weave the chicken onto the skewers, leaving the bottom half of each skewer bare for a handle. Place chicken in a casserole dish large enough to lay flat, coat with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator, covered for 4 to 12 hours; the longer the better for a richer flavor.

3. Drain the chicken strips, discard the marinade.

4. Heat grill on high, when hot, brush clean grill grate with oil. Arrange the satés on the hot grill with an aluminum foil shield under the exposed ends of the skewers to keep them from burning if you're using bamboo. Lower heat to medium and grill until they are browned on the outside and cooked through, 2 minutes per side.

5. Serve with Asian peanut sauce and cucumbers. 

Asian Peanut Sauce

2 tablespoons peanut or sesame oil

1 lemongrass stock, finely minced

4 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

4 shallots, finely minced

1 Tablespoon of Malaysian Spice Blend

½ cup of smooth peanut butter

1½ cups of coconut milk

½ cup chicken stock, or more as needed

1 tablespoon sugar, or more to taste

4 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon ground pepper

Heat oil in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Add lemongrass, garlic, ginger, shallots and Malaysian spice blend, cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes, stirring well. Whisk in the peanut butter, coconut milk, chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and pepper. Simmer until thick and richly flavored, about 5 minutes, stirring well. Sauce will hold covered and refrigerated for 24 hours, serve at room temperature.

Serves 10-12

Spanish Red Pepper Stew with Heart Rock's Hungarian Blend


4 lbs. Pork Shoulder, tied with kitchen string

2 large onions, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons Heart Rock's Hungarian Blend

4 Roasted red bell pepper, chopped

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 cups white wine

1/2 cup bacon or pancetta, diced

1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped or 1/2 cup dried mushrooms re-hydrated in 1 cup hot chicken broth

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

salt & pepper

Salt meat, set aside for 20-30 minutes to come to room temperature. Pat the meat dry, heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Remove to a bowl. Add the onions and a little salt.Cook until golden brown. Add the bacon and mushrooms (not the chicken broth if using dried) cook 5 minutes, add the garlic, cook 30 seconds. Add the meat back into the pot. Pour in the wine, turn up the heat to high cook until half gone. Turn the heat back down to medium and add the tomatoes, bell pepper and Hungarian spice blend. Add the chicken broth and stir well. The level of liquid should be 2/3 the way up the sides, add more chicken stock to achieve this. Cover with lid, cook about 2 1/2 hours (I like to cook mine in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours). Remove string from roast, using two forks separate the meat into nice big chunks, return to pot, gently stir back into the pot with the vegetables. Test for salt, add more if needed, as well as the parsley and some fresh cracked black pepper. Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noddles, rice or polenta.

Serves 6-8

Moroccan Chickpeas, Pumpkin & Raisins with Lentils


1 Tablespoon Heart Rock Herb & Spice Blend- Moroccan Ras el Hanout

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 cinnamon stick about 2”

1 medium-large onion, peeled and cut into¼” half rings

3 medium tomatoes peeled and finely chopped or 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes

2 cups chickpeas, cooked if using dried, drained and rinsed if using canned

3 cups peeled, seeded pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 1” dice

2 Tablespoons raisins

3½ cups of vegetable or chicken stock

Salt to taste

1 cup zucchini cut into 1” dice

1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Lentils prepared according to directions

Put the oil in a good sized pan and set over medium-high heart. When hot, put in the cinnamon stick. Stir for a few seconds and put in the onion, stir and fry for 3 minutes, or until it is medium brown. Now put in the Ras el Hanout Spice Blend, stir once around and quickly put in tomatoes. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened. Add the pumpkin or squash, raisins, stock and salt, bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat down to low, after 10 minutes add chickpeas, bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low, cook another 5 minutes, or until the pumpkin is just tender when pierced with the point of a knife. Add the zucchini and simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes, stirring gently now and then. Add the cilantro and parsley just before serving.

To serve: Put a small mound of lentils on each plate. Make a well in the center and, using a slotted spoon, put some of the solids from the stew in the well. Dampen the lentils generously with some of the sauce. Pass the hot sauce on the side if using. (HR Moroccan Harissa w/garlic & olive oil)

Moroccan Chicken Stew with Artichoke Hearts & Carrots

Adapted from a recipe by Jeanne Kelley


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons of Heart Rock Herb & Spice Co. Moroccan Ras El Hanout

4 cups low-salt chicken broth

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch cubes

1 pound frozen baby artichoke hearts

1 pound carrots, peeled, sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steamed couscous, quinoa, or rice

Chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and starting to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and next 4 ingredients and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; stir in chicken, artichoke hearts, and carrots; simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken is just cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide couscous/quinoa/rice, among shallow bowls; spoon stew over and garnish with parsley.

This recipe should take you 30-45 minutes, from start to finish!

6-8 servings 

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Herbs de Provence

4 skinless chicken breasts, split in half like a book, don’t cut through

Smoked Gouda cheese, sliced

Sun dried tomatoes in oil

Thin asparagus (optional)

3 eggs

3 cups panko bread crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)

2 Tablespoons Heart Rock's Herbs de Provence Blend plus Salt & Pepper

Mushroom Sauce

1 pound white or brown mushrooms, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

1 tablespoon flour

½ cup White wine

1½ cups chicken broth

1.Gently pound chicken breasts between two sheets of deli/butcher paper or doubled plastic wrap, working from the middle out. Be careful not to tear meat. Depending on size of original breast the final product should measure approximately 6"x 8"x ¼".

2.Place a slice of smoked Gouda in the largest part of the pounded breast approximately 1" from edge, then a teaspoon of sun dried tomatoes, 3 pencil size asparagus if using and a pinch of Herbs de Provence spice blend on top. Roll up starting from the widest end, tucking in sides. Secure with 48” cotton kitchen string or turkey pins to close.

3. Combine panko bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of Herbs de Provence spice blend and salt and pepper in a low bowl or pie pan. Lightly beat eggs in a separate low bowl or pie pan. With one hand, dip the chicken breasts into the egg bowl; with the clean hand dip the chicken roll in the bread crumbs bowl. (Use same hand to dip and other for crumbs throughout the entire coating process so only one hand is coated in bread crumbs!)Shake off excess and place on wire rack until all rolls are complete with crumbs. This will keep the crumbs from getting soggy.

4. Heat large frying pan you own or two if needed; add olive oil, sauté chicken rolls on all sides until lightly browned, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to warm platter, put in 300 degree oven until mushroom sauce is complete, up to 20 minutes.

3. Combine panko bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of Herbs de Provence spice blend and salt and pepper in a low bowl or pie pan. Lightly beat eggs in a separate low bowl or pie pan. With one hand, dip the chicken breasts into the egg bowl; with the clean hand dip the chicken roll in the bread crumbs bowl. (Use same hand to dip and other for crumbs throughout the entire coating process so only one hand is coated in bread crumbs!)Shake off excess and place on wire rack until all rolls are complete with crumbs. This will keep the crumbs from getting soggy.

5. To make the mushroom sauce. Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter over medium-high heat until soft, stir in flour, cook about 1 minute more, add white wine, reduce a few minutes, add chicken broth, reduce until broth has thickened, about 7 minutes.

6. Serve mushroom sauce over chicken. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Spicy Fried Potatoes

One 15 ounce can chickpeas

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Heart Rock Spice -Mexican, Turkish, both curries even Moroccan - Ras el Hanout!

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic

Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a strainer. Dry on paper towels or clean dish towel making sure they are completely dry, you don't want them spitting hot oil when they get dropped into the pan. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, when hot add chickpeas. Cook them for 7 0r 8 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. They'll turn several shades darker, but won't really get brown. Pour the chickpeas into the strainer to drain excess oil and then return them to the pan. Lower heat to medium, add spice blend and garlic. Stir for another minute until the garlic begins to just turn light brown, don't overcook the garlic because it will turn bitter. Serve warm. These little morsels can also top a green salad for a nice spicy crunch. Enjoy



4 pounds chicken thighs or breasts, skin removed

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped ginger

1 teaspoon finely chopped Serrano or jalapeno pepper, stem/ seeds removed

1 tablespoon paprika

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon of Heart Rock Tandoori Blend

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Heart Rock Garam Masala Blend

½ cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

With a fork, prick holes in the chicken pieces. Cut diagonal slices 1-inch apart, and 1/2-inch deep into the larger pieces. Place the chicken in a non-reactive baking dish.

In a blender, combine the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, pepper, and process on high speed to a paste. Add the salt, Tandoori Spice Blend, cayenne pepper and garam masala, process until well blended. Add the yogurt and lemon juice, and process to a smooth sauce, scraping down the sides to combine all the ingredients. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Turn to coat evenly, rubbing the marinade into the holes and slits. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, (up to 24 hours, the longer the better).Remove the chicken from the marinade. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven on a wire rack placed in a jelly roll baking pan (line pan with foil for easy clean up)

40 minutes for breasts 50 minutes for thighs. Can also be grilled weather permitting!

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