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Cheesy Cornbread Turkey Pot Pie

You are going to love this delicious version of a Turkey Pot that I am sharing with you today.  For my American readers it will be a unique and delicious way of using up some of their Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, and for my British readers it will be a wonderful way o f using up some of their Christmas turkey leftovers, so whichever side of the pond you reside, this is a recipe you will want to bookmark and use!  Its simple to make and very, very tasty!  Leftovers never tasted so good!  

Its also a recipe which allowed me to highlight a product that I received in my November Degustabox which arrived just two days ago.  Win/win!  I get to eat something tasty and I get to do something for this fab company at the same time!  Yay!  I was a little late getting my review in last month, so this month I am being sure to get it in extra early before the holidays take over and time gets away from me!

Every month I am the happy recipient of a Degustabox. I love these boxes. Opening each one is a bit like opening a Christmas box. Always a surprise and always filled with things I want to try. Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of specially selected foodie products. There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Quite often you will have the opportunity to try new products before they arrive in the shops, so it can be a bit of a sneak peak! Each Degustabox costs £12.99, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved - you can cancel at any time. I love getting these boxes!!  This month actually was their Christmas box so bonus! There were quite a few things in this recent box that screamed out to me as something which I could use to create something tasty with, so watch this space.  Today I want to highlight the Kallo Stock pots in the recipe I am showing you, but first a bit about what was in the November Box.

ALO 1 X £1.99

ALO is the only quality-proven brand of Aloe Vera drinks in the UK drinks market today. We pride in and are confident of our premium quality, taste and experience. As Aloe Vera drinks are already known to be complementary to Asian dishes, Alo offers the best of it's kind.

Very healthy!


Planters are making this festive season even more exciting with the introduction of two deiciously indulgent nut mixes.  Planter Fruity Chocolate Crunch is made with crunch peanuts, juicy cranberries and deliciously creamy milk chocolate buttons, guaranteed to get those taste buds tingling. 

A deliciously indulgent snack!

FILIPPO BERIO Classic Pesto 1 X £

Made with freshly picked Ligurian Basil, crushed pine kernels, fine Grana Padano cheese and Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil, our traditional green pesto is sublime stirred into pasta sprinkled with parmesan. Filippo Berio Classic Pesto is delicious in a host of recipes, on meat or fish, used as a filling in peppers or in chicken breasts, on new potatoes, in place of butter, or mix or drizzle it for an instant taste of Italy.

If you are going to use a bottles Pesto, this is the one to pick!


Our fizzy apple sodas are packed with Jonagold, Idared and Bramley apples from farms in Kent. We work with the Nightingales farm - Gibet Oak - to make this soda. The Nightingales have been growing apples for ... a long time.  And they're pretty good at it! 

This is delicious!  


The English Provender Co's Caramelized Red Onion Chutney is the perfect accompaniment to your festive cheese board and ideal to add flavour to sandwiches. The brand's signature chutney uses sweet red onions to creat a delightfully sticky savoury chutney which will brighten up any dish.

We adore the English Provender Co products. They are all quality.


Hand-popped corn, sprinkled with unrefined Fairtrade sugar for a perfectly sweet caramelized flavour.  PROPERCORN pride themselves on makin gsure that theyir popcorn is delicious and guilt free.  With a dedication to detail, they try to make everything the best it can possibly be.

Perfect for guilt-free Christmas movie night!

FILIPPO BERIO Fennel & Garlic Crostini 1 X £

Inspired by our favourite Italian flavours, these Fennel & Garlic Crostini are made from freshly baked bread, mixed with aromatic fennel seeds with sea salt and drizzled with our signature Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Because they’re baked, not fried, our Crostini are lower in fat, but still with an addictively delicious taste.
Bursting with flavour, Filippo Berio Fennel & Garlic Crostini are perfect straight from the pack, with dips or as a special treat with drinks.

  • Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans 
  • A source of fibre 
  • 30% less fat than regular crisps
These will be great over the holidays to serve with drinks, cheese and nibbles!


The Jelly Bean Factory Super Sours Jelly Beans come in 9 fantastic flavours to tickle your tastebuds. Each Super Sour Gourmet Jelly Bean is made using natural flavours and colours.  They're also gelatine free, gluten free and nut free as well as being suitable  for Coeliacs and Vegetarians!

I am a huge fan of The Jelly Bean Factory jelly beans!


Nobbly nibbles of crispy wafer, chewy caramel, crunchy peanut and juicy raisins, all wrapped in Cadbury milk chocolate.  Shake it up with new Cadbury Picnic Bites!

Oh gosh . . .  very moreish!


Made with the best tuna and selected oive oil, its unique taste and appealing colour make it an unmistakeable product, creating the excellence of real Italian taste.

I love quality tuna.  This will be great for a Nicoise salad later on in the month.


Our new Weetabix Additions range is high in taste: 100% whhole grain with a burst of delicious fruit. Delight yoursenses with a nutritious breakfast that's packed full of flavour with delicious apple, juicy raisins and warming cinnamon promising temptingly tasty goodness in every bite. Have you had your Weetabix?

Weetabix is a favourite breakfast cereal in this house and with fruit, well can it get any better?


Made wit popped wholegrain rye, Rybita Multigrain Rye Cakes are naturally high in fibre and low in fat, making them a delicious and wholesome snack. Get creative with your favourite toppings or enjoy them on their own. The choice is yours! 

Love my Ryvita any way I can get them.  These are delicious!

TAYLORS OF HARROGATE Single Origin Coffee 1 X £4.49

Taylors of Harrogate is an independant family tea and coffee company from Harrogate. Our single origin coffee explores extraordinary flavour from the world's great growing regions - carefully roasted to bring ou tthe flavour profiles unique to each country. You can find the range at Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon.

*Either the Rare Blossom Ethiopia or the Cacao Superior Columbia variety is included in each Degustabox.

We don't actually drink coffee, but this will make a nice gift for a friend who does.


Introducing the NEW Kallo Organic Stock Pots. Made with organic, natural and high quality ingredients, the flavoursome stock pots enhance the taste of your favourite recipes; soups, stews and traditional pasta dishes. Available in three flavours - chicken, beef and vegetable, just stir into your cooking to unleash your flavour pot-ential.

*One of three flavours is included in your Degustabox  

I already use their stock cubes, and rice cakes.  I especially love the milk chocolate ones.

I personally received the Kallo Chicken Stock Pots and this is what I used to make the filling for my pot pies today.  I thought they added a lovely flavour to my gravy, and worked out perfectly.  I love that all of the ingredients are organic and natural. Nothing artificial here. 

The filling is very simple to make.  You begin by sauteing some celery and onion in a large saucepan, and then you add some chopped apple.  This forms the base for that delicious gravy.

You add some chopped cooked turkey and a couple of sliced cooked sausages to the gravy and pour it into a baking dish.

Then a simple cheese, spring onion and cornbread dumpling getd dolloped on top and you pop the whole thing into the oven until the filling is bubbling and those dumplings are puffed, golden brown and so deliciously sitting on top!

Altogether this is quite, quite delicious and very easy to throw together.  I think this is something the whole family is going to love, and of course a part of that is having a delicious stock to make the gravy with!

*Cheesy Cornbread Turkey Pot Pie*
Serves 4
Leftovers from your holiday meal, put together in a very delicious way. 

For the filling:
1 1/2 TBS butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, trimmed and chopped
1 sweet/tart eating apple, cored and chopped
3 TBS flour
360ml  chicken or turkey broth (1 1/2 cups)
60ml milk (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups chopped or shredded cooked turkey
2 fat sausages, cooked and sliced
1 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

For the topping:
70g plain flour (1/2 cup)
90g cornmeal (1/2 cup)
60g strong cheddar cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1/2 TBS sugar
1 tsp baking powder
120ml  milk (1/2 cup)
1 small egg, beaten
1 1/2 TBS butter, melted and cooled
salt and black pepper, pinch of each

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook the onion and celery, until they begin to soften without colouring. Add the chopped apple and cook until tender.  Whisk in the flour and cook for one minute.  Stir in the stock and milk.  Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cooked turkey, sausages, parsley and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and season with salt as needed.  Pour into  1 1/2 litre (2 quart) baking dish. 

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. 

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, cheese, spring onions, sugar and baking powder.  Whisk together the milk, egg, butter, salt and pepper. Add all at once to the dry mixture stirring to combine.  Drop by the spoonful over top of the hot turkey mixture.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.  Serve hot.

So, that was the November Degustabox - a nice selection of products as always. We loved it. The price of each Degustabox is £12.99 (including delivery). To order your box, visit  Many thanks to Degustabox UK for sending me this box. I have to say I really look forward to getting my box each month. There are always lots of things in it to enjoy and new products to try out. I highly recommend. You can also tailor the boxes to your own likes and dislikes by filling in your own Taste Profile.  Do you like the sound of the Degustabox October 2017 box? Why not sign up now! I find them to be really good value for money spent and I really enjoy trying out new products that I have not tried before.  

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Note - Although I was sent a box free of charge any and all opinions are my own.
Bon appetit! 

Marie Rayner
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The Cheese Tray - Tutorial

One thing that I learned a lot about, and got a lot of practice doing, when I worked at the manor, was putting together a Cheese Tray for dinner parties or other celebratory occasions.  I can now put together a really attractive one with confidence and knowledge, which is saying a lot, considering the fact that I grew up eating only plastic cheese, and wouldn't have touched a smelly cheese with a ten foot pole! I have come to love a great variety of this wonderful food,  and am game to try almost any kind, having developed in my later life what I would consider to be a really adventurous cheese palate!  I owe a lot of this knowledge and experience to my ex boss, who was a great tutor in teaching me what was right and proper when it came to putting together a great cheese tray!

The first thing you will want is a nice surface to lay everything out on.  A large flat board works well.  At the Manor we used a large flat wicker basket/tray.  Today I have used one of my larger wooden cutting boards. It doesn't really matter if it is a big banged up, because you will be covering it.  I have chosen several nice paper doilies to do this . . . 

My boss used to pick up these paper leaves whenever she would go to the States, and bring them back to use on the Manor Cheese trays. We had them in all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes. We could usually get away with using only three or four of these, so they did last a long time.  But paper doilies work very well also, just so you know.

Another thing to remember is that you don't have to break the bank with the cheeses you choose to buy and serve, but you will want at least four different kinds, and you should buy the most expensive cheese that you can afford to buy.  You will want a soft cheese, such as a goats cheese, ash covered or not  . . . please don't be tempted to use cream cheese.  A Cheese tray is not the place for that. (If you do want to serve cream cheese, a block of that placed onto a plate with a hot pepper jelly, gently warmed to loosen it and poured over top goes very nice.)

A semi-soft such as a brie or a danish blue, perhaps a reblochon . . . a semi hard, like a stilton blue, or a comte, maybe a  manchego, I like the white stilton with mango and ginger, or with cranberries . . . and of course you will want something hard.  A really good crumbly well-aged cheddar is nice, as is a Parmesan or an Asiago.  There are over 500 varieties of cheese in the world that you can choose from, and they are all very delicious.  One rule of thumb you will want to follow, is to bring the cheeses to room temperature before serving.  They taste much better at room temperature.

You will need something to eat with the cheese.  Crackers, toasted slices of baguette, crisp breads and the like.  I have chosen a selection of crackers here.  The digestive are always favourites to serve with a fruity cheese . . . there was a time when I thought holiday crackers meant buttery round crackers, but I have grown so much since then and I am fond of many different kinds and in fact they would be my last choice as they are far too crumbly and break up too easily.

At the manor the crackers were handed around in an antique silver biscuit barrel, however most of us don't have budgets that run to one of those, so today I have simply arranged my crackers in an attractive porcelain dish. 

You will also want something sweet, or nutty or salty to go with your cheeses.  Some people add chacuterie such as a good salami, or proscuitto ham.  Nuts also go well . . . toaste walnuts are nice with most cheeses, as are toasted almonds.  We like fruit with ours.  Today I  used some really nice sweet sable grapes and crisp slices of a sweet apple . . . 

If you are using grapes a set of grape shears comes in really handy.  At the manor we had beautiful silver ones, but again, not all of us can afford something like that. What you can do however is to clip the grapes ahead of time into small managable clusters before placing them attractively on the tray. A small round bladed knife for cutting the cheese is also a must,  and if you have soft cheeses, you will also want another one to use for them so that you don't contaminate your lovely goats cheese with the strong flavoured stilton, etc. 

Another thing which goes really nice with cheese is Membrillo,  a delightful sweet semi solid fruit paste/cheese made from the Quince. It is really delicious, but somewhat hard to find.

I always add a small bowl of a pickle or relish.  A well flavoured chutney works perfectly with cheese.   Sweet, sticky and spicy they help to really enhance the beautiful flavours of cheese. We are huge fans of the English Provender range of chutneys in this house. (Cheese and chutney sandwiches are a real love!)

English Provender have a wonderful variety of chutneys available  for use with your holiday cheese trays. In fact I would call them cheese-board-tastic! Today I used  their Caramelised Red Onion, but it is only one of many that are available.  

Great cheese pairing tips for the ultimate cheese board:
  • Caramelised Red Onion Chutney – pair with a strong hard cheese like mature Cheddar or strong blue cheese like Blacksticks blue or Stilton
  • Sweet Tomato and Chilli Chutney – pair with smoked log cheese or a hard cheese like Red Leicester, mild Cheddar or Double Gloucester
  • Plum & Bramley Apple Chutney - pair with white soft cheeses like brie and cambazola, rind washed cheeses like Epoisses or Morbier, or try blue cheeses like Blacksticks blue or Stilton
 You can buy these lovely chutneys in all of the shops.  Beautiful packaging and lovely flavours. They are my favourites.

 So as you can see today, putting together a cheese tray for the holidays can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.  It needn't cost a lot of money, and it certainly doesn't take a lot of time.  I have never met a person yet, whose eyes don't light up when you bring one out.  A nice cheese tray can make a perfect finish to a holiday meal,  as well as going very  well as nibbles with drinks.

However you choose to serve one, it is bound to be a popular addition to your holiday celebrations!  Happy Holidays and Bon Appetit! 

PS - any cheese leftovers will also work very well in a gourmet mac and cheese.  Just saying!

Marie Rayner
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Sage & Onion Stuffing

I think one of my favourite things about any holiday meal has to be the stuffing, or dressing as it is sometimes also called!  The two terms seem to be used interchangeably, although arguably stuffing would denote something which has been stuffed into something else, and dressing  . . .  well, dressing usually makes me think of salads and something tasty that you pour over top of them!

My mother always made the best stuffing.  She used plenty of sage and poultry seasoning.  She also used raw onion, rather than cooking the onion. Stale bread, salt and pepper and mashed potato made up the rest, with perhaps a small amount of the turkey juices.

It was a bit unconventional for sure, but we always thought it was the best and there is not a one of us in my family today that wouldn't kill to have my mother make it again for us.  Somehow whenever I try to make hers, mine never ever tastes as good as the memory of hers does in my mind!

This is very similar, but it is my own version and it is also very, very good. I cook my onion first as some people find the sharpness of raw onion quite unpalatable. You can either stuff it (completely cooled) into the bird, or you can bake a casserole dish of it along side of the bird.  Either way, you are in for a real treat!

*Sage & Onion Stuffing*
Makes 8 servings
One word for this. Perfect. 

450g onions, peeled and chopped (1 pound)
300ml water (1 1/3 cups)
75g butter, melted, plus extra for buttering the dish (1/3 cup)
1 TBS chopped fresh sage leaves
225g fresh soft white bread crumbs (8 slices, 1/2 pound)
salt and black pepper to taste

Place the chopped onion into a saucepan.  Cover with the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.  Drain very well.  Stir in the butter and the remaining ingredients, tossing to combine and seasoning to taste.  Allow to cool completely if you are using it to stuff a bird.  If you are cooking it separately.  Place into a buttered dish.  Dot butter over the top.  Cover and bake in a 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4 oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for a further 10 minutes to crisp up the top if desired. 

Note - One potato mashed can be stirred into the bread crumbs along with the onion and then you have Bread, Sage & Onion Stuffing.  This is as my mother always made it. 

What would a leftover turkey sandwich be without a layer of stuffing to give it some extra flavour!  Not half of what it should and could be I wager!  Bon Appetit! 

Marie Rayner
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Root Vegetable Tian

One thing I love most about this time of year and the holidays is the abundance of root vegetables, which are at their freshest and finest.  Potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac, parsnips, rutabaga, etc. I am a root vegetable lover.

This simple and easy bake makes good use of a variety of root vegetables.  It makes a wonderful holiday side dish as well.  It is colourful and delicious!

You simply peel and thinly slice your vegetables and then blanch them for a few minutes in some lightly salted boiling water.  I like to slice my vegetables by hand, but you can use a food processor or a mandoline if you want to.

I really don't mind slicing them by hand.  It is the type of mindless chore that I enjoy.  I just peel and then slice them thinly, practicing mindfulness . . .  I am usually in another world entirely. I find it quite relaxing.

Once you have sliced and blanched them, they are simply layered in a shallow baking dish (s) with some good olive oil, seasoning and chopped parsley.  Make sure you save some of the blanching water to pour over them in the dish . . .  just enough to cover the bottom layer.  If you forget to do that you could use a good vegetable stock.

Once they are layered in the dish(s) you simply cover the dish loosely with two layers of buttered baking parchment and pop them into the oven and bake.  One half hour covered, and one half hour uncovered.

At the end of that time they will be tender and golden and soooooo tasty!  Perfect for enjoying as a delicious side dish for all of your holiday meals, be it turkey, or ham, or beef, or pork . . .  I dare say that this goes well with anything, even fish.

Its simple, and healthy and very adaptable also.  I have used sweet and white potatoes today, along with some celeriac (celery root) and parsnips, but you can use carrots, swede (rutabaga), onions, or any other root vegetable which you enjoy, in any combination.  This is delicious!

*Root Vegetable Tian*
Serves 12
This is a delicious side dish for the holidays.  It tastes beautiful with all types of roasted meat.  Turkey, gammon, beef, chicken, pork. All go very well. You can vary the vegetables if you find some difficult to find.  Carrots, rutabaga/swede, turnips, etc.  All work perfectly.  This can also be very successfully halved. 

2 small sweet potatoes
2 medium white potatoes
1 small celeriac (abut 3/4 pound, celery root)
2 small parsnips
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish 

 Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Butter several large shallow baking dishes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. 

Peel all of your vegetables and thinly slice using a mandoline, food processor or by hand. (I like to do it by hand. I find it very soothing to just stand and slice.)  Pop all of your vegetables into the pan of boiling salted water.  Boil for 2 to 3 minutes and NO longer.  Drain well (reserving about a cup and a half of the cooking water). Rinse well under cold water to halt the cooking process and drain again.

Begin layering the vegetables in the baking dishes. Making about 3 layers and sprinkling each layer with some salt and black pepper, some parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.  Pour enough of the cooking liqeuer into the bottom of each baking dish, just to cover the bottom layer of vegetables.  Cut out two pieces of baking parchment large enough to cover each casserole. (4 pieces of paper) Oil them lightly and then place two on top of each baking dish loosely.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the baking parchmet and bake for a further 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and golden.  Garnish with more parsley to serve

Colourful, healthy, easy to make and delicious!  What more could a person ask for?  Bon Appetit!

Marie Rayner
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Scalloped Macaroni


Today I tortured my pasta hating husband with some comfort food from my childhood, which rang all my bells, but left him feeling rather off key! haha He says he hates pasta, but he always eats it when I make it. I think it's because he knows it's cheap . . . and that part of him that grew up during the War and during rationing, likes a good bargain!

This might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is mine. I love macaroni. I love tomatoes. I love cheese. Put the three together and you have my idea of heavnly bliss. I could eat this until it comes out my ears.

This is a great meal to throw together to feed your hungry family on a weeknight when you know you aren't going to have a lot of time . . . and for when it's getting close to payday and you are wanting those hard earned pesos to stretch that little bit further.

I always pick up blocks of cheese when it's on special at the shops and keep it in my freezer until I need it. It is perfectly find for cooking with and to be honest that's how most of the cheese in this house gets used. Oh we will have the odd piece, every now and then, just with some crackers, and maybe some fruit.  But, truth be told, most of the time  . . . it's used in cooking.

I always pick up tins of tomatoes when they are on special as well. We love our tinned tomatoes in this house. If you've got a tin of tomatoes in the cupboard, you've got the makings of a tasty meal. That's my opinion at any rate!

We also always have milk.  I keep a large jug of fresh milk in the refrigerator, and I have several cartons of long life milk in the cupboard. Of course you could make this really decadent and use half cream and half milk. And I have done that from time to time and it is rather good, if I don't say so myself . . . but normally I just use plain old ordinary milk.

This is the kind of comfort food that your mom or gran might have cooked. You could brown off some lean minced beef and add it along with some onions, but it's not really necessary because . . . this tastes pretty fabulous just the way it is. Who says simple has to be boring??

*Scalloped Macaroni*
Serves 4

This may be simple and plain, but don't let that fool you.  Sometimes the simplest things are the most delicious of all. 

225g uncooked macaroni (1/2 pound, 2 cups)
240g grated strong cheddar cheese (2 cups)
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (2 cups)
160ml scalded milk (2/3 cup approx.  To scald milk, put into a beaker and
heat on high in the microwave for 1 minute, or heat in a small saucepan until bubbles appear
around the edges.  Don't let it boil.)
a handful of  coarse breadcrumbs or crackercrumbs
1 TBS melted butter
salt and black pepper to taste 

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4.  Butter a 1 litre casserole dish and set aside. 

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions in lightly salted water, just to al dente.  Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again. 

Layer the macaroni, cheese and tomatoes in the prepared casserole dish, as follows:  a third of the macaroni, a layer of cheese, half of the tomatoes, a third of the macaroni, a third of the cheese,the remaining tomatoes, the remaining macaroni and ending with the remaining cheese.  You will want to lightly season each layer of macaroni, remembering that the cheese will be salty so heavy on the pepper, and salting judiciously!  (Love that word, don't you?)   Pour the scaled milk over top of the casserole, running a knife down through it here and there so that you make sure it goes well to the bottom.   Mix the bread or cracker crumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle over the top. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the milk is bubbling up and the top is nicely browned.  Serve hot. 

Note:  you can add some finely chopped raw onion with the tomatoes if you wish.  I sometimes do

These old fashioned comfort meals are the best of all I think.  They come in especially handy on busy days when you are lacking in time and inspiration.  Those old gals sure knew what they were doing! Bon Appetit!

Marie Rayner
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