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How to Cook Bacon Perfectly Like a Chef

How to Cook Bacon Perfectly Like a Chef

Everyone loves bacon, but few of us know how to cook it properly. Read on to learn some very valuable tips for preparing this delicious meat

    1. Cooking in the Microwave

    Sometimes we do not have 20 minutes to cook our bacon and we need to do it quickly. There are all kinds of bacon racks out there these days for your microwave, and most of them use a runoff system to drain away the extra grease when you are cooking.

    However, you do not need this for really good microwave bacon: place three paper towel layers on a plate and lay your strips side by side. Cover this with another paper towel. To cook it, one minute per slice is usually the way to go, but every microwave is different, so watch the bacon as it cooks to ensure you do not overdo it.

    2. Cooking in the Skillet

    Most people like to fry bacon in a skillet in its own grease. There’s nothing wrong with tradition, but you are going to want to follow a few guidelines:

    • Choose a large, flat skillet and lay out the strips so they don’t overlap, as this will leave parts of the bacon uncooked, and we don’t want that!
    • Cooking only 1-2 strips will cause problems because there won’t be enough grease generated to prevent burning.
    • Do not—do NOT—throw cold bacon onto a hot skillet. You should set your bacon out on the counter for a few minutes before you cook it, which will allow the fat to loosen up and go back to its more natural, softer state. When you are ready to start cooking, put the bacon in a room temperature pan and put in on medium heat. This will allow your bacon to slowly absorb the heat and cook evenly; this is the best way to avoid scorching and burning bacon.
    • Don’t flip too much. You do not need to do this more than one time. If you are cooking on medium heat, expect to flip your bacon after 10 minutes, but every stove is different so keep a close eye on it.

    3. Oven Style Bacon

    If you ever wondered how restaurants are able to serve such perfect bacon, you need wonder no more: most restaurants have to cook large quantities of bacon, so they bake it.

    To do so in your kitchen, preheat the oven to 350. Lay your slices out on a cookie sheet without overlapping them, and then place them in the oven. The entire cooking process should take about 15 minutes, but of course, cooking bacon is art, not science, so it would be to your benefit to keep an eye on it.

    Many bacon lovers think that cooking bacon in the oven is the best way to go—you will get very crispy, flat bacon that you will never forget!

    4. Vermont Style Bacon 

    Frying bacon is great, but there are several ways that you can spice it up, and one way to do so is to add maple syrup to the mix. Marinating bacon in syrup might seem strange; we do not normally marinate bacon before we cook it, but let me tell you, it will give your bacon a delicious twist that you will want to try again.

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    To do this, you just need to put several slices into a bowl and douse them with your favorite maple syrup. We recommend that you use thinner types of syrup because this will make less of a mess when you are cooking.

    Be sure that the syrup covers all sides of the bacon slices, and then put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let it all soak in. Then you fry up the bacon in your skillet the regular way. Delicious!

    5. Boiling

    Ever thought of boiling your bacon? Doesn’t quite sound right, does it? But boiling your rashers eliminates fat splattering and keeps the bacon moist.

    Add your rashers to a cold frying pan or skillet making and add water making sure you’ve covered the pieces of bacon. Turn the temperature up high to get the water reaching boiling point. All you need to do it allow the water to completely boil off and once it has, turn the temperature down to a low/medium heat.

    This is the stage where the bacon can crisp up nicely and evenly but without the grease splattering or the rashers drying out. Perfectly moist, browned bacon!

    Tips To Cook The Perfect Rasher of Bacon

    1. Always add your bacon to a cold pan and then heat it up. This reduces the chances of it burning and gives the fat enough time to melt away giving you less flabby fat to deal with.
    2. Don’t add too many rashers to a pan. This will cause the bacon to become flabby and floppy rather than crispy.
    3. Opt for a cast iron skillet if possible. It allows the bacon to cook more quickly producing crispier rashers.
    4. If you want tender bacon pieces but don’t want to fully go for the boiling option, just try adding a little water to your pan when frying.

    How To De-Grease Your Bacon

    Sometimes greasy bacon can be exactly what you want but if you’re turned off by your rashers swimming in fat, there are ways of avoiding the grease fest.

    If you’re cooking bacon in the oven try cooking it on an incline. This allows the fat to heat up and crisp the rashers but then drip off reducing the overall fat on the bacon.

    As mentioned before, adding water to your bacon reduces the fat so once it comes to crisping it up, most of the fat has melted off.

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    Maple-Glazed Bacon

    Marinating your bacon Vermont-style in maple syrup can be delicious but what if you don’t want to spend time preparing it first?

    Maple-glazing your bacon is the solution and is much quicker to do. Just cook your rashers until browned (but not crispy) drain and set aside. Mix up some maple syrup, dijon mustard and brown sugar in equal measure and using a brush, glaze your bacon on one side.

    Return your browned rashers to the pan on a low heat and cook glaze-side down for 2 minutes. Turn and repeat on the other side. Keep adding glaze and turning 5-10 times until you get a nice caramel crisp. Serve immediately.

    5 Easy Bacon Recipes You Need to Try At Home

    1. Bacon Halloumi Bites

      Make these as a snack or hors d’oeuvre at a party – either way they’re extremely easy to whip up and will be eaten pretty quickly!

      • 225g block of halloumi
      • 12 rashers of bacon
      • Pepper to taste

      Line a baking tin with foil and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Cut the halloumi up into 24 pieces and each rasher in half.

      Lay the halved bacon rashers out and grind some pepper on to taste. Proceed to place one piece of halloumi on each half rasher and roll them up. Place in the baking tin and place in the oven for 18-20 mins. And voila!

      2. Bacon Jam

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        Bacon jam makes an amazing condiment with a meal or simply spread on a piece of bread, put into sandwiches or even smothered on pancakes.

        • 450g thick bacon cut into 2 inch pieces
        • 1/2 sliced onion
        • 65g of brown sugar
        • 235ml of beef stock
        • 2 tablespoons of honey
        • 1 teaspoon of paprika
        • 2 tablespoons of butter
        • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

        Place the bacon pieces into a pan on medium heat and cook for around 10-15 minutes. Add the sliced onion and fry off for a further 5 minutes until soft.

        Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Pour in 1/4 of the stock, letting it simmer until reduced and thickened (usually takes around 10 minutes). Repeat this process in 3 further stages until all the stock has been used.

        Put the mixture into a blender adding in the honey, paprika, and black pepper. Blend for around 30 seconds so the mixture is still chunky and not smooth. Add the butter and mix until completely melted. Let it cool and transfer to a container of choice.

        3. Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

          Not convinced? This sweet and salty treat is worth a try!

          • 1 and a half sticks of softened butter
          • 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
          • 1/2 cup of white sugar
          • 2 eggs
          • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
          • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
          • 2 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
          • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
          • 2 teaspoons of corn starch
          • 7 slices bacon pre-cooked crispy and roughly chopped
          • 2 cups of chocolate chips

          Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. (350 degrees F.) In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add to this, the eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch to create a wet mixture.

          Gradually add the flour to the mixture a little at a time until everything is combined and smooth. Fold in the bacon and chocolate chips. Place the cookie dough onto a lined baking tray (the mixture should make approx. 24 cookies) and bake for 8-10 minutes.

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          Remove and place on a cooling rack and make sure to store the cookies in the fridge.

          4. Bacon and Egg Cups

            These are simple to make for a snack or breakfast alternative using the great combination of bacon, egg and cheese!

            • 12 slices of bacon
            • 12 eggs
            • 113g grated cheddar cheese

            Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease a 12 cup muffin tray and place a rasher of bacon into each mould. Crack an egg into each one and sprinkle with grated cheese.

            Bake for 20 minutes or until the egg whites have fully cooked.

            5. Slow Cooker Chicken with Bacon Gravy

              An easy slow cooker recipe with a wonderful bacon taste running through.

              • 680g boneless and skinless chicken breast
              • Few grinds of pepper
              • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
              • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
              • 6 cooked rashers of bacon
              • 24g chicken gravy powder
              • 350ml water
              • 160ml heavy cream

              Add the chicken breasts, thyme, garlic, pepper and bacon to the slow cooker. Mix the gravy powder with the 350ml of water (ignoring the measurements found on the gravy packet itself) until smooth. Pour the mixture over the chicken.

              Cover and cook for 3.5 hours on the highest setting making sure not to take the lid off during this time. When the time is up, add the cream and mix into the gravy. Serve with mashed potato and vegetables.

              Featured photo credit: pdoctor via pixabay.com

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              Last Updated on March 30, 2020

              Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

              Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

              Feeling tired all the time?

              Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

              I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

              Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

              If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

              In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

              What Happens When You’re Too Tired

              If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

              Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

              • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
              • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
              • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
              • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
              • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
              • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
              • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

              Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

              Unfortunately, yes!

              Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

              Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

              Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

              Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

              Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

              Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

              1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
              2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
              3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

              The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

              It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

              Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

              Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

              If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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              Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

              Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

              But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

              Symptoms of fatigue include:

              • Difficulty concentrating
              • Low stamina
              • Difficulty sleeping
              • Anxiety
              • Low motivation

              These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

              Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

              How Much Sleep Is Enough?

              The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

              Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

              So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

              The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

              Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

              Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

              If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

              And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

              It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

              4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

              Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

              1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
              2. Exercising regularly
              3. Using stressbusters
              4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

              So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

              After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

              In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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              I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

              Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

              • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
              • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
              • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
              • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

              The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

              And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

              But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

              L — Living Healthy

              Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

              So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

              In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

              As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

              Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

              1. Unplug

              Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

              So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

              2. Unwind

              Do something to relax.

              Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

              3. Get Comfortable

              Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

              Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

              Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

              Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

              If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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              Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

              This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

              E — Exercise

              Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

              That’s what happened in my case.

              But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

              As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

              My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

              That made sense to me.

              So, I decided to swim.

              I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

              Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

              Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

              So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

              If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

              A — Attitude

              Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

              When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

              Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

              Breathing.

              But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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              Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

              1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
              2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
              3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
              4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
              5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
              6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

              This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

              When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

              Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

              N — Nutrition

              Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

              If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

              Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

              For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

              Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

              Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

              1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
              2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
              3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
              4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
              5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
              6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
              7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
              8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
              9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

              Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

              That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

              Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

              The Bottom Line

              If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

              If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

              If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

              • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
              • Regular Exercise You Love
              • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
              • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

              Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

              More Tips to Help You Rest Better

              Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
              [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
              [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
              [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
              [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
              [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
              [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
              [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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