Category Archives: Salads

Day 361: Shrimp Salad and To Curry Eggs

Today is Saturday and my family is still in that post-Christmas holiday mood. No one has to go to work yet so we’re doing puzzles, playing music and relaxing. We are also beginning to tire of duck leftovers so it is time to make something completely different from the 1898 New Galt Cook Book. I’ve picked a recipe To Curry Eggs from the Eggs section contributed by Mrs. Sheldon. Since I’m not fond of eggs I’m trying it when there are plenty of taste testers around. I thought it might go nicely with a salad. I’ve selected Shrimp Salad since I don’t like shrimp either and several of my tasters love seafood. The recipe was contributed by the mysterious S.B.C.

Starting to peel the cooling hard boiled eggs.

Starting to peel the cooling hard boiled eggs.

First I put a dozen (12) eggs in cold water and turned up the heat. Ten eggs are for the curry recipe while the other two will be for the salad. Apparently the eggs need to simmer for 8 minutes to be hardboiled. Check out this site for more about how to boil eggs. Next I started the salad since the dressing needed time to cool. I sliced one peeled hardboiled egg in half horizontally and removed the yolk to mash it.


Cooking the dressing for shrimp salad

Cooking the dressing for shrimp salad

Then I put 1 gill (5 fluid ounces) of vinegar in a saucepan with 1 teaspoon of mustard, a pinch of sugar and the mashed egg yolk. I heated the mixture until it boiled and then set it aside to cool. I prepared the glass dish for the salad by lining it with some lettuce leaves. The shrimp was already prepared so I put the shrimp around as well as two stalks of celery chopped and a pinch of salt sprinkled on top. I cut the white of the egg into rings and but was unable to find a jar of olives. I had the egg white rings ready to arrange once the dressing was poured on top just before serving.

Frying the onions

Frying the onions

Once the eggs were boiled and the salad dressing cooling, I started the curry sauce. I chopped 2 small onions and fried them in butter until the pieces were nice and brown. Then I added 2 dessertspoons (2 teaspoons) of curry powder. I debated using the duck broth but instead used almost 1 pint (2 cups) of chicken broth. I left it to simmer gently while I cooled and peeled the hard boiled eggs. I sliced them in half vertically before setting them aside until the sauce was ready. I measured ¼ pint (½ cup) cream and added a teaspoon of cornstarch since we didn’t have any arrowroot powder. Once the onions were tender I carefully added the cream mixture to the broth. I let it simmer and thicken just a few minutes before adding the peeled and sliced hard boiled eggs. I removed the eggs and set them on a platter and poured the sauce over top. I attempted to arrange the sliced eggs as described but I wasn’t entirely sure what was meant by the flat ends. I poured the dressing on the shrimp salad and added the egg rings and olives to decorate the top of it. It was time to eat!

Unfortunately S.B.C. remains a mystery but Mrs. Sheldon is interesting. I’ve pulled this information from primary sources on and some family trees posted there. Mrs. Sheldon was Juliet Mary Demster (or Dunster) and born in Dorset England in 1846. Her father was a bookseller and stationer but her mother Rebecca died when Juliet was just two years old. Most of her brothers and sisters died when they were babies so the 1861 census in England shows her with one sister and her father. However, life must have taken a different turn because her marriage in 1872 to Joseph William Sheldon took place in Madrid Spain! Joseph was also born in England and their marriage was registered in England but they continued to be mobile. Their first four children were born in Bucharest Romania between 1873 and 1878. One of the children died as an infant. The next child was born in Breman Germany in 1881. By 1884 they were in London England and then in 1886 their son Edward was born in Galt Ontario. Their final child Ethel was born in 1889 also in Galt. Their birth certificates list Joseph’s occupation as Gentleman and yet the 1891 census lists Joseph as a farmer and they have seven children at home. Then in 1892 Joseph died of appendicitis! He was just 42. What was this like for Juliet? In 1901 she’s listed as head of household and six of the children are there too. The older boys are listed as manufacturers or machinists. They also have three domestic servants, two women named Jane and a man named Robert. She was  still at Lot 12 Con 10 in North Dumfries Township in 1911 but with just a few of the children and a domestic servant. One of her sons lived nearby with his family. Eventually by 1921 Juliet lived alone in a stone house near her son. She died of arteriosclerosis in 1923 in Galt.

Shrimp Salad and To Curry Eggs

Shrimp Salad and To Curry Eggs

Some of my tasters really like the eggs. They felt the curry had flavour and a little hit of spiciness. The onions were great with it and the sauce worked well with the eggs. I tasted the sauce and it is okay on its own but I think it would be better with coconut milk rather than cream and perhaps using a curry paste instead of the curry powder but then I like Thai food. I wonder if Mrs. Sheldon developed  taste for curry while living in Eastern Europe. That area was still part of the Ottoman or Turkish Empire at the time.

The shrimp salad seemed to be more about the presentation than the taste of the food. My tasters liked the shrimp (it is the type they use all the time) but we had to dig to the bottom of the bowl to get any of the dressing. The dressing is a bit thin for this salad but it tastes good.


To Curry Eggs

Mrs. Sheldon

Ten eggs, one onion, two dessertspoonfuls of curry powder, quarter pint of cream, some arrowroot, nearly a pint of medium stock or good gravy. Fry one large onion or two small ones, a nice brown in butter, then add the curry powder and stock, or good broth, and set it over the fire to stew slowly until the onions are tender. Thicken the cream with a little arrowroot, stir it in and let all simmer for a few minutes, then add ten or twelve hard-boiled eggs cut in halves. Make them hot without allowing them to boil, and arrange them on the flat ends on a dish with the sauce over them.


Shrimp Salad ready to eat


Line a glass dish with crisp lettuce leaves. Mix together one plate prepared shrimps (boiled and picked), two stalks celery, pinch salt. Place among the lettuce leaves. Pour this dressing over: One gill cider vinegar, one teaspoonful mustard, pinch sugar, yelk one hard boiled egg, mixed and well mashed. Bring to a boil, then cool. Cut white of egg into rings, place an olive in each, and arrange about the salad.


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Day 330 Potato Salad

Well, here we are at day 330. It’s been a while since I looked at the Salads section of The New Galt Cook Book (1898), probably because I tend to think of salads as a summer food. However, several of the salads in the cook book could be eaten anytime. The Potato Salad recipe I’m going to make tonight is such an example. The recipe was contributed by Mrs. Richard Jaffray and Mrs. Sylvester.

I have some potatoes already boiled so the first step is to slice them. Then I’m going to make the dressing so it has time to cool. However, I only have 3 potatoes so I’m going to cut this recipe. I beat1 egg and then sprinkled in some salt, pepper, sugar, and a dollop of prepared mustard. I poured a small amount of vinegar in and then some hot water. I cooked it until it was like custard before I added some cream. I set it aside to cool. I minced up a bit of onion and found some walnuts. I’m ready to put this all together. First I put some sliced potatoes in and then a bit of onion, dressing and potatoes and finally walnuts. I didn’t bother garnishing it with anything other than walnuts since I don’t like pickles or cucumbers. My cold place is the fridge. It is time to taste.

This is one of the recipes affected by the editors’ decision to eliminate duplicates for the 1898 edition of The Galt Cook Book. Therefore, it is attributed to two women. Mrs. Richard Jaffray and Mrs. Sylvester. Mary Havel (or Havill) was born in 1848 in Galt. Around 1870 she married Richard Jaffray and they had three daughters. He died the year this cookbook was published and Mary remained a widow for the rest of her life. She died in 1922.

Mrs. Sylvester is likely Charlotte “Lottie” Catherine Alma Reed was born in Bowmanville Ontario in 1854. She married George Perry Sylvester in 1977. He was an allopathic doctor and they had four daughters and possibly a son too. One of their daughters died when she was ten years old but the others grew up and married. George died in 1924 and Charlotte died in 1933,

My dressing was a bit odd but I like the addition of walnuts in my potato salad. It provides crunch and protein. Someday I’m going to try the dressing again and keep better track of the amounts I used. This salad would look nice in a glass bowl.

Mrs. Richard Jaffray and Mrs. Sylvester

Take eight or ten potatoes, boiled, slice very thin, and have ready some blanched almonds or shelled walnuts (about a large half cupful), slice a piece of onion very fine or grate it. A salad dressing made of three eggs (well beaten), mustard, pepper, vinegar, sugar and salt to taste; stir in hot water until thick as custard, then add rich cream; put a layer of potatoes, just a sprinkle of onion, then dressing, then potatoes, then walnut, dressing until your dish is full; garnish with cucumber, pickle and walnuts, or nuts alone. Put on ice or in a very cold place until required.

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Day 291: Chicken Salad

It’s a bit of a dreary day and once again I’m making something that straddles that divide between summer and fall. I bought a stewing chicken at the market since there are several recipes in The New Galt Cook Book (1898) that require this ingredient. Best of all it could simmer all afternoon filling the house with good smells and then I could use the meat for recipes like Chicken Salad. I’m using the recipe contributed by Mrs. Caldbeck of Woodstock.

I put the chicken in large pot and covered it with water and left it simmering for a couple of hours until the meat was tender. I removed the chicken, saving the broth for other uses. I set the chicken aside to cool while I made the dressing.

I decided to make half the dressing recipe. I separated 3 eggs and put the yolks in a bowl. I added 6 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons of white sugar. Next I prepared the mustard by putting 1 teaspoon of dry mustard with some boiling water.  The recipe isn’t clear about this but I think the word “together” should be water. I added it to the rest of the ingredients along with 1 1/2 saltspoons of salt and a pinch of white pepper. I mixed it well and then added 6 tablespoons of boiling vinegar. I don’t have the sort of tea kettle needed for this recipe but I have used them in historic houses. This is the sort of tea kettle that has a lid on top and a handle that will bend to the side. Basically what is needed is a double boiler so I put the bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. I stirred with a spoon and once it was thick I set it aside to cool.

Then I started to pick the chicken apart. Again I saved some of the meat for other uses. I measured my chicken meat (I used just the white) and cut up double the amount of celery. I had some local celery from the market. It was a nice dark green and not as watery as the usual celery at the grocery store. Again I didn’t worry about using a silver knife. This direction comes from the days before stainless steel when the metal of utensils would be affected by acidic foods and the metal could discolour vegetables like celery. I mixed the celery and chicken in a bowl, added some cream to the dressing and poured it on the salad. Time to eat!

Mrs. Caldbeck of Woodstock is probably Margaret and I think her maiden name is Harvey. I’m still not sure about her parents or birthplace but it is possible she is the Margaret Harvey listed in Waterloo Region Generations as the daughter of Irish born Arthur and Ann of Galt. I do know Margaret was born about 1846 and was married to Irish born George Caldbeck by 1881. The census that year shows the couple living in Woodstock with a young woman named Emma Harvey who I think is Margaret’s sister as well as a saleslady named Margaret Green. She likely worked in George’s business since he is listed as a merchant. I can’t find them in the 1891 census but in 1893 George is listed in a city directory at 451 Dundas street in Woodstock. His business is in the House Furnishings catagory. The next year the business, at the same address, is listed under the heading Dressmakers. In 1894 the directory includes the Caldbeck’s home address at 134 Riddell street, a home that appears to still exist.Then in 1900 a directory has the Caldbeck business under Dry Goods.

The 1901 census lists the couple plus Ev L Harvey. I’m assuming this is Evelyn Harvey and that she is Margaret’s sister. They also have a 42 year old servant named Mary Corbett in the household. Somewhere between 1901 and 1911 the couple move to Toronto. Again Emma Harvey is with them in their home on 128 Park Road as well as it looks like their domestic servant Mary Corbett moved with them too! George is a wholesaler.  Somehow George ends up dying of a cerebral hemorrhage in the Galt Hospital in 1917 and is buried in Peterborough. I think Margaret is still living at this point but I don’t know what happens to her.

Like the “dressing”for yesterday’s hot slaw, the dressing for Mrs. Caldbeck’s chicken salad is a sweet/sour egg and cream based coating. I liked this one and it goes well with the chicken. The amount of celery is the opposite proportion to what we see today where celery is included more for crunch. Instead this is a celery salad with some chicken. Be sure your diners know what to expectbefore offering them this version of chicken salad. I think it is a good switch for modern cooks since we tend to build meals around our meat instead of our vegetables. Of course the dressing is not calorie or diet friendly with cream, egg yolks, and sugar but you don’t have to use much in the salad.


Mrs. Caldbeck, Woodstock

Yelks of six eggs (beaten very light), twelve tablespoonfuls melted butter, three tablespoonfuls sugar, two teaspoonfuls mustard (mixed smooth with boiling together), three saltspoonfuls of salt, one saltspoonful white pepper. Mix all well together, then add twelve tablespoonfuls boiling vinegar; put in a bowl on the top of the tea-kettle, stir with a silver spoon till thick, when cold, and just before mixing with salad, stir in a cupful of sweet cream. Boil chicken tender, taking out all skin and bones; pick meat into small pieces; have the celery washed and dried with a cloth, and not sooner than half an hour before the salad is to be used. Cut celery into bis with a silver knife, mix with chicken and stir in dressing. Proportion, twice as much celery as chicken.

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Day 162: Fruit Salad

Are you planning any picnics this weekend? I thought I’d test drive some picnic food. Tonight it’s a salad — Fruit Salad. I’ll try a small portion of the recipe from The New Galt Cook Book (1898) that was contributed by Mrs. James Warnock.

I had the ingredients on hand … all except one. I had searched for cherry wine a few days ago to be ready to make this recipe when the mood struck. In Ontario all alcohol is purchased at L.C.B.O stores and they have huge selections of alcohol but cherry wine is a very old-fashioned form of alcohol. I found other fruit wines and cherry brandy but it was only in the kosher section that I found cherry wine. Unfortunately it was quite expensive and I couldn’t imagine using it in any other way. Then I noticed that next to it was currant wine and I thought of the bottle of Cassis I already had at home. Although it isn’t cherry wine, I”m going to use it instead.

I wasn’t sure how the fruit was to be prepared but decided bite sized pieces made sense. I peeled one orange, sectioned it and cut it into small pieces. I peeled and sliced one banana. I had a small pineapple that was already cored and peeled. I cut one sixth of it thinly and then cut those into small pieces. I put the banana in first to make sure that it was going to be covered by the acidic fruit to help prevent it from turning brown. I layered the pineapple next and finally the orange bits. I had meant to put the cocoanut and icing sugar between the layers but I think it would have been too much for the quantity of fruit. I sprinkled both on top and then poured some Cassis over it all. I let it sit a few minutes before digging in to my fruit salad.

Mrs. James Warnock is a member of a family with several contributors. She is Mary Amelia Blain and was also known as Minnie growing up in Galt. Minnie was born in 1865 and her future husband James E Warnock was also born in Galt the same year. They married in 1890 and had two children Dora and Edward. James was a woolen manufacturer. Minnie died in 1925 but her husband had died of a wasting disease called “tabes messenterica” many years earlier in 1905. They lived on Waterloo Avenue in Galt with the two teenage children at the time.

I knew I’d like this combination of fruit but I wasn’t sure about the coconut, icing sugar and alcohol. It was surprisingly good. I used dried cocoanut but I think shredded fresh would be even better. The Cassis worked but I’m curious about how the cherry flavour and lightness of wine would work. I accidentally used a bit more icing sugar than I’d intended but it was okay. I suspect the wine helps to “preserve” the salad a little longer on a summer’s day. I will make the Warnock’s Fruit Salad again.

Mrs. James Warnock

Six oranges, six bananas, a small pineapple sliced very thin. Put them in a glass dish in layers, sifting a small quantity of powdered sugar and grated cocoanut between them. Pour half tumblerful of cherry wine over the whole.

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Day 153: Sweet Cabbage Salad

I still have a bit of cabbage on hand but it won’t keep much longer with this heat. I’m fortunate to have a portion of my place that remains cool longer– a bit like a cold cellar. I decided to make Sweet Cabbage Salad using a recipe contributed by Mrs. Andrich for The New Galt Cook Book (1898).

Ad for vinegar from The Canadian Grocer, a trade magazine.

Ad for vinegar from The Canadian Grocer, a trade magazine.

I measured 2/3 cup of cider vinegar and 2/3 cup of white sugar into a saucepan. I added 1 teaspoon of dry mustard and 1 teaspoon of salt. I stirred it and brought it to a boil. I beat up two medium eggs in a cup and then added 6 tablespoons of milk. Sweet milk just means fresh milk instead of sour milk. I use 1% milk. In my hurry to taste this salad I added the milk and egg mixture to the vinegar mixture while it was still very hot. You can probably guess what happened. It curdled. I went ahead and brought it to the boil again hoping it would “refresh” itself. The dressing did thicken and become smoother although I still think it would be better to let the vinegar cool a bit before adding the milk/egg combination. Once the dressing was thick I removed it from the heat and prepared the cabbage. I combined the dressing and cabbage and prepared to taste.

Mrs. Andrich is Rachel Roos. She married butcher Martin Andrich in 1868 and they had six children. One of their sons died of diphtheria in 1875 when he was three. Rachel and Martin lived into their late 80s

I really like this dressing! Of course, I also have a sweet tooth and the dressing on sweet cabbage salad is sweet. I like the combination of sweet and sour with the cabbage.

Mrs. Andrich

Two-thirds cupful vinegar, two-thirds cupful sugar, one teaspoonful mustard, one teaspoonful salt. Let this come to a boil, then add two well beaten eggs, six tablespoonfuls sweet milk; boil again and pour over chopped cabbage.

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Day 149: Boiled Salad Dressing

I have a day off tomorrow and will head out in the morning to restock my “ice box” and pantry. At the moment I’m a bit limited in my choice of available ingredients but I do have everything I need to make a salad. My lawn is full of dandelions at the moment so it is easy to find some greens and I seem to have everything necessary to make Mrs. J. Mowat Duff’s recipe for Boiled Salad Dressing. My quest to cook every day from the 1898 New Galt Cook Book continues and so you’ll find the recipe there on page 130 in the Salad section.

Ad for Keens Mustard in The Canadian Grocer magazine in 1898.

Ad for Keens Mustard in The Canadian Grocer magazine in 1898.

This is a great recipe for me since it can be made in a saucepan. No need to mix in a separate bowl. I beat up 2 eggs in the pot and then started adding the rest of the ingredients. In went 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a small 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. I happened to have Keen’s mustard on hand — one of the brands of dry mustard available in 1898. Next I added 4 tablespoons of cream and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. I nearly curdled my cream until I realized I needed to stir as the vinegar was added. Then I popped the saucepan on the stove and heated it to boiling. I kept stirring to make sure it didn’t burn or “scramble”. Once it boiled I removed the pan from the stove and let it cool a little before sampling.

Mrs. J. Mowat Duff was such a tricky person to find and her story is complex so I’m going to simply copy and paste what I wrote when I tried her recipe for salted almonds back in February. Normally, if there is no city listed with the person’s name in the cook book, I assume she is living in Galt Ontario. I searched for J. Mowat Duff in Galt but he turned up in Guelph instead. The name is so distinctive that I think John Mowat Duff has to be the correct person. Another clue is that no one with that name appears on the Waterloo Region Generations website. John Mowat Duff was born in Kingston and Sir Oliver Mowat the premier of Ontario was his mother’s brother. I suspect J. Mowat Duff’s occupation as a bank manager might be the connection to Galt. He was in charge of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. You might be wondering why I haven’t talked about his wife, the woman who contributed the recipe. There’s a problem. He had two wives. The first wife was Jessie Langmuir Osborne. She was born in 1860 in Hamilton and died of diabetes in 1896 at the age of 36. The couple had been married just before Christmas in 1881 and their daughter Marjorie was born in 1886. She was ten when her mother died.

Mr. Duff’s second wife was Louisa Caroline Nelles. She was born in 1864 and they married in 1898.  The couple had a daughter Dorothy in 1899. John died in 1924 and Louisa died in 1950. Since the New Galt Cook Book is a revised edition of the book published in 1892, I think the first Mrs. J. Mowatt Duff (Jessie Langmuir Osborne) contributed the recipe  but his marriage to Louisa was brand new when the revised cookbook was published in 1898.

The combination of slightly bitter dandelion leaf and slightly sweet boiled salad dressing worked well together. I like this salad dressing and I was prepared to hate it since it includes the dreaded eggs. I was worried that the proportion of eggs to the other ingredients would make the dressing taste “eggy” a negative result for me. Instead it is very good and turned out creamy. I like a thick salad dressing since I use the “dip your fork in dressing and then into the salad” technique as a way to get flavour without excess calories. A thick dressing probably defeats this technique since more dressing sticks to the fork than with a thin one. However, if you like a thinner dressing it is easy to thin this one down with cream, milk or even a bit more vinegar if you like a slightly tangy dressing. I think this recipe has time travelled rather well.

Mrs. J. Mowat Duff

Take two eggs well beaten, one and a half tablespoonfuls brown sugar, one-half teaspoonful mustard, one-half teaspoonful salt, a little less pepper, four tablespoonfuls cream, two tablespoonfuls vinegar. Put all in a saucepan, and bring to a boil; if too thick when cool, add a little more cream or milk.

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Day 117: Salad Dressing

Today I was able to witness the induction of some local people into the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame. Then after work I helped someone move. It is now 9pm and so I’d like to make something interesting but not too challenging. I’m going to make Salad Dressing. There are three dressing recipes in The New Galt Cook Book (1898) and this one was contributed by Mrs. Pattinson of Preston.

I followed the instructions which are quite straight forward. I cracked a medium egg and put the contents in a small bowl. I added 1 heaping tablespoon of white sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter. I skipped the salt since my butter is salted. I had some Keen’s prepared mustard so I put 1/2 teaspoon in with the other ingredients. I’m assuming mixed mustard would be mustard made at home using dry mustard powder or else you could purchase prepared mustard. Keen’s dry mustard powder has been around for over 200 years and the prepared version is only a little “younger”. I added the final ingredient 1/2 cup of vinegar. A coffee cup and a cup are only slightly different measurements.  I beat everything as well as I could and then poured them in a saucepan. The butter didn’t incorporate very well. Perhaps I should have melted it first? I put the saucepan on the burner and  turned the heat to low stirring all the ingredients. I gradually turned up the heat once the butter had melted and kept it on medium until it was boiling. I kept stirring while it boiled since I was afraid it might burn. It took about five minutes for it to thicken enough to resemble cream. I removed the pan from the heat and left it to cool before using it.

As usual the Waterloo Region Generations website was helpful in finding out a bit more about Mrs. Pattinson of Preston. She is probably Mary Elizabeth Erb who was born about 1853 in Preston. Her father Abraham was also born in Preston while her mother Margaret was from Scotland. Mr. Erb had a flour mill called A. A. Erb and Brothers. Mary Elizabeth (24) and George Pattinson (25) married in Mildmay Ontario in 1878. George was born in England and came to Canada as a teenager.  He eventually owned a woollen mill in Preston. Ironically George Pattinson is in the Waterloo County Hall of Fame for his contributions to Preston and the county. He was a member of the provincial parliament, worked to bring hydro electricity to Preston and was involved in prison reform and the development of the workman’s compensation act. Mary Elizabeth and George had six children but unfortunately their oldest daughter Alice died before her tenth birthday of congestion of the lungs brought on by a Remittent Fever. Mary Elizabeth didn’t see many of her husband’s accomplishments as she died in February 1898 of septicemia (blood poisoning).  Their oldest son died in 1915 as a soldier in the First World War.

This version of a boiled salad dressing is okay. Mine ended up with a bit of “scrambled” egg in it. It is a bit sweet so I might ease back on the sugar a little. Otherwise it is an acceptable boiled dressing. My prepared mustard was a hot one so that might have helped offset the sweetness.


Mrs. Pattinson, Preston

Beat together one egg, one good tablespoonful of sugar, one piece of butter size of an egg, one pinch of salt, one-half teaspoonful of mixed mustard, one-half coffee-cupful of vinegar. Put all into a saucepan and gradually come to a boil. Boil until the thickness of cream.

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