Friendship, Hiking, Link Ups, Trying New Things, Vancouver Island

What’s On Your Plate for May? The Outdoors Edition.

Part One:

In early April, Vancouver Island had its first blast of warm weather. Naturally, a (socially distanced) picnic celebration with my cohost was in order.

Lunch with a View

Here’s what was on our plates: Fried Chicken, Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, Potato Salad and Potato Chips. For dessert we had Sargento Balanced Breaks (cheese, almonds, dried cranberries). The pièce de résistance was Efferve Sparkling Lemonade served with Whipped Cream. What can I say? I treat my picnic dates well!

It was all no-fuss, no-muss and extremely affordable. I picked up most of the items, all premade, at my local grocery store. The chicken and potato chips were on a flash sale (shhh, don’t tell Deb)!

Best of all (other than the company) was the amazing view. Seriously, what’s not to love about this entire scene?

My apologies about the Christmas tablecloth. You go with what you’ve got!

Part Two:

The thing about the outdoors is that it is highly contagious. Wishing to spend more time there, Richard and I recently purchased an SUV-tent to accompany our Jeep Trailhawk.

Deb was invited to join us for dinner around the campfire during our test run voyage. We were a mere 3.9 km from our home…just in case any Public Health Officers are checking. 😀

What was on our plates? Traditional camping classics: Tin Foil Hobo Packs and Roasted Corn on the Cob for dinner. I highly recommend both recipes. They go very well together!

You can make both foil packets in advance so that you simply place them over hot coals when you are camping, giving you more time to relax and enjoy. Whatever you do, don’t forget to end off with S’mores! They are a campfire essential!

Your Turn:

What’s on your plate this month? You can leave a message/link/photo in the comments, write and link your own post, or display on your choice of social media. Please include #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge, so we don’t miss it. Again, I will add all linkups to this page.

Thank you to all who contributed to our first official ‘What’s On Your Plate’ linkup last month (if you missed them you can find the links in my last post). Sharing what’s on their plates this month are:

Deb (cohost): Deconstructed Pork Shoulder Burritos
Sue: Slow cooked Moroccan Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
Jo: Bun Cha
Antoinette: Shrimp and Wild Mushroom Cobbler
Erica: Salt Spring Island Mussels, Steelhead Salmon, Halibut Steak and Cooked Crab
Marsha: Dad’s Pasta Sauce
Tracey: Mom’s Cheesecake
Liesbet: Tried and True Pizza Dough
Bernie: Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Joe: Shrimp and Sausage Campfire Foil Packs

We look forward to hearing from you.

Buen Provecho!

Donna & Deb

108 thoughts on “What’s On Your Plate for May? The Outdoors Edition.”

  1. Hi Donna – two of my favourite foods – fried chicken and chips!! Yay for a simple picnic lunch. And I love your new camper/tent thingie – what a great idea and the perfect way to make the most of the back space of your 4WD to add onto the tent area. I’m so glad good things are coming your way along with the Spring weather. We’re in Autumn but it’s beautiful and probably warmer than your Spring – I just love these milder seasons xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Leanne – What a wonderful comment to wake up to. Thank you so much! I must admit, I did think about you when buying the chips. Now one of us simply needs to win that lottery so we can picnic together. I am sure that you are correct about your Autumn weather being warmer than our current Spring temperatures. Sigh! If you have extra sunshine there, please send some our way!

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    1. Hi, Frank – Your party animal comment brought a big smile to my face. As in most places, there has been a significant lack of IRL socializing here for the last 14 months (not that I have been counting). I agree that grocery store chicken is perfect for a picnic — and the price was right as well!
      BTW – I am still singing the Ed Sheeran Perfect Symphony song from your recent post. Earworm!!

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  2. Donna, I love your little ‘glamping’ tent. What a great idea some smart person had. Looks like you are making good use of your nice weather with not one, but two picnics this month, and we are only five days in. Foil packs are the best for outdoor, or even indoor cooking, aren’t they? Makes clean-up a breeze.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Suzanne – The glamping tent makes great sense to me. So much so, I thought that Napier had been spying on my life. (During our last two camping trips, Richard slept in our 2 -person tent while I slept on an airmattress in the back of our Jeep. Princess and the pea….I know!) 😀 So this is a real win-win for us. One big open space with lots of room and multiple sleeping options.
      I also agree about the foil dinner packs. So easy – with painless cleanup.
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I greatly appreciate it.

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  3. Great food with great friends, so wonderful!. I also like the grocery store fried chicken. Some stores do better than others, I am fasinated with the tent connected the car! Brilliant idea. Salute!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Antoinette – Thank you so much for joining in and sharing your Shrimp and Wildmushroom Cobbler. This is a dish that I can’t wait to try. I agree that great food and great friends go together — even though most of us have needed to severely revise how we do this. For the past few months I have been having a weekly Zoom Dinner Date with my niece which has been awesome. Entering warmer weather for outdoor dining and campfire dinners is also very, very welcomed. Bring it on!!

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    1. Hi, Deb – Thank you for the great review! I am also looking forward to more outdoor adventures — and to see how you like your new Napier vehicle-tent. I am off to order camp pillows today — seriously, there is no end! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, I know 🤣. I just spent a small fortune on camping “necessities” this morning. At this point, a weekend stay at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort is starting to look like a bargain, in comparison. Don’t forget closed-cell foam sleeping pads, to keep the chill off!

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      2. Oh for the love of all things holy. Now I need to research closed-cell foam sleeping pads? Will my (relatively recent) therma-rests no longer do? 😦
        What else did you get? Please share!

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  4. Donna, the hobo pack looks super delicious, and what could be better than corn on the cob? Congratulations on your new SUV tent. That sounds fun! You picked a beautiful place. Do health officials come around and check on you? What happens if you are too far away? I love this post

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    1. Thanks, Marsha – Our one-night trial stay in our new SUV-tent very well. We are now planning a 2-night stay at another campsite (this time just over an hour away). Travel restrictions for non-essential travel in B.C. are currently in place until May 25. Fines can be given to people who leave their region for non-essential travel. Camp site registrations from people outside of an area have been cancelled and moeny refunded. Periodic road checks may be set up at key travel corridors between the defined travel regions to remind travellers of the order. The primary goal of the order is education and reminding people about travel restrictions – so I do not believe that more than the above will be done (e.g. no health officials coming to check on us at our campsite). 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think Carol said in Australia, they did fine people exorbitant fines for traveling and not staying home in the beginning. And they had very few cases of COVID. If we had had as few of cases as they did in the US, I’m not sure we would even have closed down. Arizona is open almost entirely. Most places don’t require masks. It’s hardly even on the news.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, Marsha – That is incredible that Arizona is almost entirely open, without masks, and COVID hardly in the news. Seriously COVID is the only thing in our news and has been for quite some time. Our COVID numbers in April were on a sharp rise but have finally begun trending down this past few days. Fingers crossed that we can all begin living COVID-free lives again soon!

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  5. Two meals this month, and both outdoors – WOW, Donna! Both looking totally delicious – roast corn looks fab! Is that a nice big air mattress inside the tent?! Looks very comfy.
    Nothing outside here right now except daily storms, high humidity/temps, and buggy things flying around. Not conducive to open air eating nor creative cookery, am sad to say. 😉

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    1. Hi, Del – Told you that the outdoors are contagious (as is outdoor dining)! I was so in to the camping experience that I forgot to take photos inside of our tent. The inside tent photo shown is the standard one from Napier. On this trip we set up two airmattresses. Bad idea — really quite dumb! The airmattesses are very effective at transferring the cold from the ground which was not a good thing. For our next trip, we will go with a camping cot. Stay tuned to see how that goes!
      Sending you good vibes that your daily storms will pass!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. first off — potato salad and chips?? Oh my I would be in heaven except for the calories. Then whipped cream in the lemonade — is that kind of like an Italian Soda? Secondly — who the heck knew there was a name for putting your veggies and meat in a package on the fire? Been doing it for years and never knew. Now having said that we are trying to cook with less and less alumimum foil as it has some health risks that are coming out. Thirdly — having said that. S’mores — we put them all together in the foil and slowly roast them and then the chocolate melts and it gets all gooey and so so good. If only calories didn’t exist! Lovely meals and looks like a great time was had by all!

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    1. HI, Bernie – You have heard that Camping Calories don’t count, right? 😀
      Either way, we did tons of hiking during both adventures to burn off any extra calories that may have snuck through! Yup, those were Italian Sodas — delicious!
      Funny about the Hobo Packs. I’ve been calling them that for as long as I can remember. I just checked with Google to see if they also went by a different name, but the best that I could find was ‘Tin Foil Packs’ (although even Google seemed to prefer to call them Hobo Pakcs). I agree with you about aluminum foil and really only use it when camping.
      I love your version of campfire Smores. Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to trying your version.

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  7. Donna, I realise I’ve got to up my game on picnics! Yours looks like a delicious feast … though I wouldn’t want to try eating in the hammock! As for the location — heavenly! I’m on the way! 😀😀

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    1. Hi, Annika – I would love it if you were on your way here. First, that would mean an end to our travel restrictions. Secondly, I would LOVE to meet you. We didn’t eat in the hammock — but it was amazingly stable. M\y guess is that it could be done! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks like fun, sounds like yum. I haven’t been on a proper picnic in a long while, so I’m inspired to think about doing so once we’re vaccinated.

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    1. Hi, Ally – Have you had your first dose of vaccine yet? I had my first dose 23 days ago, and am due for my second does in July or August (Canada currently spaces doses four months apart). Once you are ready, I highly recommend an outdoor picnic. For me, it was just what the doctor ordered! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 4 months apart? Wow. I’m between my first jab and a second one 4 weeks later. I’m getting antsy to do something. A picnic sounds perfect.

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      2. Yup – four month intervals. Canada’s strategy has been to give as many people as possible their first dose. Without this, I wouldn’t even have had my first dose yet. Our vaccine program has really been ramping up in speed, so our second doses could be quicker than originally stated. Fingers crossed!
        Good luck with your second jab. And yes to that picnic!!

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  9. I want to go on a picnic with you! That corn on the cob – one of my absolute favourite foods. Yum. Love the SUV tent – just how cool is that?

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  10. Your picnic with Deb and your camping trip look like so much fun! I agree that sometimes picking up pre-made items is the best way to go – often yummy and so time-freeing. Your hobo packs (never heard them called that before) and corn look delish, but I’d definitely save room the s’mores. Both the foil packets and the s’mores take me back to my Girl Scout days.

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    1. Hi, Janis – Hopefully we will have lots of time for a picnic (or two)…and a campfire when you are here. Our COVID numbers have just begun trending down this past week. I am choosing to take that as a very positive sign of good things to come!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sue – Thanks so much for being part of “What’s On Your Plate”. I can’t wait to try your Moroccan soup recipe. It sounds delicious!
      I just saw an article stating that camping equipment is the new pandemic demand item. Looks like other people have the same idea as me! Too bad. I have definitely been enjoying the empty trails and campsites.

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  11. I have been looking forward to reading your post, Donna.❤️ I had a couple of clues, how it was about outdoors and your new camping experience. I have never heard about sparkly lemonade served with whipped cream. And, Deb is always amazing, fun company.❤️ Funny about the Christmas tablecloth. We have extras in our camping supplies. I was telling Chuck about your SUV tent, and being a guy, he knew all about this. New to me. A great idea! The camping meal looks wonderful. When restrictions ease, it would be fun to plan something. An excellent post! I love Richard’s smile in the hammock.

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    1. Hi, Erica – Thank you for being a part of ‘What’s On Your Plate”. I love Steelhead Salmon but have never made it with a layer of mayonaise before. I will be trying that very soon!
      I would absolutely, positively love to join you for a picnic and/or camping adventure of your choice. Camping at French Beach (or nearby areas) is high on our list! We would be happy to have you and Chuck join us for dinner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent results with other salmon. We enjoy sockeye salmon when we can get it fresh. Actually, all fresh seafood. We will make camping happen for us when restrictions lift, Donna. I don’t know whether Deb has a tent/sleeping bag? Fun, if she could join us😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, Erica – I can’t wait to try your mayonaise salmon recipe. Sounds delicious.
        Deb has the same Napier Vehicle-Tent that we have. She also has super cool camping gear. We will be going out to Miracle Lake for our next adventure. We would be delighted to join you and Chuck whenever the coast is clear. I’m GREATLY looking forward to it.

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  12. Maybe someday I’ll contribute to this. In the meantime, I sure enjoy seeing what’s on your plate. And the tent that attaches to your vehicle looks brilliant.

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    1. Thanks, Laurie – I completely understand that you are busy with your writing and your podcast. Your invitiation to join us at What’s On Your Plate has no expiry date.
      Thanks for your feefback on our new tent vehicle. So far, so good!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. We haven’t been camping in quite a few years, but I’d never heard of SUV tents before. What will they think of next? Anything is better when enjoyed with friends. I’m glad you got to enjoy that time.

    What are we up to? We’re both fully vaccinated and taking the first real leap of faith since Covid with a plane flight to Montana on Friday. We’ve only seen our son once in the last year. We also found out that he moved in with a girl (he tells us nothing, so we didn’t even know she existed 🤣). Such a guy thing keeping the parents in the dark. Anyway, it will be great to see him and meet her.

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    1. Hi, Peter – Congratulations on your double dose of the vaccine. And double congratulations for having immediate airplane travel (I honestly forget what that was like).
      It’s so great that you are able to see your son (and his girlfriend) soon. We have been missing our kids, and my parents, like crazy! Please keep us posted.

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  14. Gosh you do treat your picnic dates well Donna!! I love the sound of your meal and also your new car tent – it looks fabulous and what a great idea to practice close to home. Can’t wait to see where you take it once you can travel further afield!

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  15. I admit I’m very intrigued by this car tent thing … enough so that I’d actually consider camping. And yes, you did just detect a major shift in the energy of the Universe with that statement 😉

    … but I’ve never had s’mores. I’ve never felt the need to (plus I don’t camp and I understand it’s a camping staple), because I’m more of a hold-the-biscuit-hold-the-marshmallow kind of person. Pass the chocolate please 😁

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    1. I seriously had to reread this comment twice (okay, three times)! So cool that you would consider vehicle-tent camping. We definitely could arrange that for your next trip out here. I still think that you should at least try a S’more. I’m sure that they could be made less marshmallow, more chocolate….and with Lotus cookies! 😀

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  16. I love this Donna…the food, the company, and the scenery. Why does everything taste better when eaten outdoors? Enjoy your new tent and all the adventures that come with it!

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    1. Thanks so much, Christie – I have no i dea why everything tastes better outdoors. But it truly does. I just may need to Google this. I am sure that someone has come up with an answer.
      I hope that all is well for you.

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  17. Hi Donna – well that looks to be a few fun outings in the future … having had a couple of local test runs … the hammock – great for the relaxation – switch off mode. Yummy – and it all makes sense to do things before you set out …then you can just enjoy the time away. My Dad told me when I went camping with the girl guides at aged 10 or 11 … to put my blanket under my sleeping bag and I’d be warm … I’ve always done that. It all looks like wonderful fun … enjoy – cheers HIlary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary – The blanket under the sleeping bag is a great idea. For our next adventure, we have upgraded to a camp cot which we will use with our thermarest. Because we had the airmattresses we left our thermarests at home last week. Bad idea. Live and learn! 😀

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  18. Hey Donna! How great to see you having fun and getting outdoors. And I must confess when I heard that you were getting an SUV tent I at first wondered if it was one of those that sits on top of the vehicle so you have to climb stairs to get up in it. I couldn’t imagine how that would be anything an adult would enjoy. But yours is WAY cooler than that. I actually haven’t seen one of those before but it looks like something that will be really fun for you both. And yes, like someone else said, Richard looks happy too. As for camping…my tent is an Airbnb but I’m all in for picnics. Hoping we can do several of those when we are in town! ~Kathy

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    1. Sounds like we will need to pitch our tent outside of your AirBnB this August! But we’ll save plenty of room by the campfire for you and Thom (and Janis and Paul). Greatly looking forward to it!

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  19. OMG an SUV tent – I’ve never seen one of those – what a great idea. That would have been perfect to use behind our van when our kids were little and we were out and about so much! Looks so cozy inside! We have two graduations (one college and one high school) coming up – one in 2 weeks and the other in early June and they are both in-person! Happy outdoors 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Donna, Great to see you enjoyed good food with good friends outdoors. Wishing you beautiful weather for more outdoor fun in the coming days.

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    1. Thanks, Natalie – Our weather hasn’t been the greatest as of late (mostly cool and rainy). I am looking forward to sunnier days to come. Hope your weather is warm and sunny there! Bring on summer!

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  21. I like the idea of a SUV tent. Does it mean that you sleep in the closed comfort of the SUV and bypass the cold hard ground? Food looks yummy.

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    1. Thanks, Sandy – THe SUV tent makes the 5-person stand up tent and the SUV all one space. So you get the choice of where you would like to sleep. Last weekend, Richard and I both slept in the tent part on airmattresses (really not a good idea). Next weekend, Richard will upgrade to a camp cot (with our thermarest) and I will sleep on the airmattress in the back of the SUV. We will continue to tweak from there.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bethany – I am so happy to hear that you love your rooftop Jeep tent. I was wondering what those are like. We are just getting ready for our next camping trip. They are seriously addictive. I hope that all is well for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Oooh I am definitely a sucker for picnics! Somehow food tastes better when it is consumer outdoors in nature. Love the Tin Foil Hobo packs!

    Such a great idea to get a tent I’m sure now that you have it you will get a ton of use out of it. The hammock looks might comfy.

    Peta

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    1. Hi, Peta -.Thank you so much for stopping by Food does taste better when 1) enjoyed with friends/family 2) eaten outdoors. I was just working on the menu for our next camping trip. Deb (Widow Badass) will be joining us and will make Nasi Goreng with sweet Indonesian soy sauce for one of the nights.. I haven’t completely decided yet but may make hamburger and steak fries and salad for my turn. It’s all about balance! Oh and there may be a few beverages as well! 😀

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  23. This post has three of my all-time favorite activities in it: food, friends, and the outdoors. Oh, and good weather. 🙂 Wonderful times, Donna! I am glad you took advantage of the warm spell and I love your tent set-up as well. Thanks for linking to our pizza dough recipe. We have just gotten into the habit of Friday Pizza again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Liesbet – I wasn’t sure if you had your pizza recipe posted on your blog (bad memory on my part). If you do, please send me the link and I will use the link instead! 😀
      Friday Night Pizza is truly a classic around many parts of the world (we even had that in Beijing)!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those pizza nights are something to look forward to. We started the tradition on our sailboat Irie and continued while house sitting. Unfortunately, Zesty didn’t have an oven so we had to pause making our own pizzas for a while. Here in Massachusetts, we have a crappy “easy-bake oven” but as the entire household is getting vaccinated, we can use the real oven in my in-law’s kitchen downstairs. I don’t have any recipes on my blog – I just sent that one to you by email. Don’t ever doubt your memory. It’s so much better than mine!

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Donna,
    As you know, we’re big advocates of “glamping” and it looks like you and Richard are well-versed in the art already. Love Hobo packs! Our favorite (winging it here) is fresh, peeled shrimp, diced potatoes, andouille sausage (sliced thinly), butter (big spoonful), pepper, and tbsp of minced garlic. Wrap tightly to capture all the steam, and place on coals or grill for about 15 minutes. Top off with S’Mores. Below is recent pic of Helen and granddaughters enjoying them. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Hi!
    Great idea for a blog challenge and will join in

    In the meantime wanted to saw the food like so yummy
    And whipped cream on the sparkling lemonade? Sounds good
    Also – the suv tent was new to me – seems like an awesome idea

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    1. Hi, Yvette – Thank you for joining in! Deb and I greatly appreciate it. 😀
      Yup, that is whipped crean you see on sparkling lemonade. I was going for the Italian Soda vibe. Delicious!
      Deb and I are off on another camping adventure this coming weekend (she owns the same kind of tent as I do). I’ll keep you posted!
      I hope that you enjoyed your recent break. You were missed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh thanks so much for saying that about being missed (felt really nice) and I know this sounds cheesy – but another perk of a break is “freshness from coming back after a break”

        Hope the next camping ⛺️ Is great

        Like

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