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An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery

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When a second generation geek with multiple degrees in history grows up to be a professional cookbook writer, it's no surprise you end up with a lovingly researched book of Hobbit cookery. Inside these pages you'll find one chapter for each traditional Hobbit meal. In addition to being based on historic recipes revised to fit Tolkien's specific vision of the Shire, the dish When a second generation geek with multiple degrees in history grows up to be a professional cookbook writer, it's no surprise you end up with a lovingly researched book of Hobbit cookery. Inside these pages you'll find one chapter for each traditional Hobbit meal. In addition to being based on historic recipes revised to fit Tolkien's specific vision of the Shire, the dishes have the following themes. - Breakfast - hot, fast, traditional morning food - Second Breakfast - cold, sturdy pies full of meat, veg and fruit to fuel a small adventure - Elevenses - a hearty selection of breads to tide you over until Luncheon - Luncheon - lighter fare appropriate for a pub - Afternoon Tea - sweet biscuits, cakes and buns to accompany a caffeinated pick-me-up - Supper - a hot meal of meat, veg, and mushrooms with a sweet finish - Dinner - slow cooked roasts and puddings that take hours to make, but are well worth the wait To make sure there's a place for everyone around our geeky table, the index is broken up by dietary restrictions, with - 11 Paleo/Primal friendly recipes - 19 Gluten Free friendly recipes - 20 Vegan friendly recipes (which happen to be kosher and halal) - 40 Vegetarian friendly recipes (including the vegan ones) Whether you want to make an epic dinner fit for a king or bring a little period flair to a geeky gathering, you'll find something in these pages for every Tolkien fan. You can preview 10 recipes from the cookbook at Kitchen Overlord: http://kitchenoverlord.com/tag/hobbit...


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When a second generation geek with multiple degrees in history grows up to be a professional cookbook writer, it's no surprise you end up with a lovingly researched book of Hobbit cookery. Inside these pages you'll find one chapter for each traditional Hobbit meal. In addition to being based on historic recipes revised to fit Tolkien's specific vision of the Shire, the dish When a second generation geek with multiple degrees in history grows up to be a professional cookbook writer, it's no surprise you end up with a lovingly researched book of Hobbit cookery. Inside these pages you'll find one chapter for each traditional Hobbit meal. In addition to being based on historic recipes revised to fit Tolkien's specific vision of the Shire, the dishes have the following themes. - Breakfast - hot, fast, traditional morning food - Second Breakfast - cold, sturdy pies full of meat, veg and fruit to fuel a small adventure - Elevenses - a hearty selection of breads to tide you over until Luncheon - Luncheon - lighter fare appropriate for a pub - Afternoon Tea - sweet biscuits, cakes and buns to accompany a caffeinated pick-me-up - Supper - a hot meal of meat, veg, and mushrooms with a sweet finish - Dinner - slow cooked roasts and puddings that take hours to make, but are well worth the wait To make sure there's a place for everyone around our geeky table, the index is broken up by dietary restrictions, with - 11 Paleo/Primal friendly recipes - 19 Gluten Free friendly recipes - 20 Vegan friendly recipes (which happen to be kosher and halal) - 40 Vegetarian friendly recipes (including the vegan ones) Whether you want to make an epic dinner fit for a king or bring a little period flair to a geeky gathering, you'll find something in these pages for every Tolkien fan. You can preview 10 recipes from the cookbook at Kitchen Overlord: http://kitchenoverlord.com/tag/hobbit...

30 review for An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    We can look at this one of two ways, either I'm a bit late to do a Christmas Book Haul video or I'm hella early for next year. (Click the link to see what other books arrived via the polar express). Second breakfast is the perfect time for adventuring. If you are anything like me, you are wholly and completely in love with the Shire. The happy hobbits, the comfortable lives and the general feeling of well-being radiating from Hobbiton will always bring back my childhood. I loved the li We can look at this one of two ways, either I'm a bit late to do a Christmas Book Haul video or I'm hella early for next year. (Click the link to see what other books arrived via the polar express). Second breakfast is the perfect time for adventuring. If you are anything like me, you are wholly and completely in love with the Shire. The happy hobbits, the comfortable lives and the general feeling of well-being radiating from Hobbiton will always bring back my childhood. I loved the little details that Tolkien included about the Hobbit lives and it truly made this cookbook stand out to me. The Shire represented everything Tolkien loved about English country life. One thing that always endeared me to the plucky fellas was their love for food. You can feel the love and nostalgia for that hearty country cuisine every time the Hobbits eat. So, of course when I saw that there was a Hobbit-themed cookbook, I had to pick it up. One thing that I absolutely LOVED about this cookbook is the sheer attention to detail. In Tolkien's day, ovens were slow to heat and expensive to keep fired up...In keeping with the rustic, egalitarian spirit of the Shire, all these breakfast are (relatively, for the time) fast. Oseland carefully crafted this recipe book based on period-appropriate recipes limited to the ingredients that Tolkien wrote into his book AND found ways to craft these age-old using modern-era tools. Because face it, folks weren't using the international standards for measurement tools nor did they weigh out their ingredients to the 0.01 gram when these recipes were first made. I can't even begin to imagine the hours of research needed to find, test and adjust so many recipes. I'm in awe and that's what truly makes this book magical. I've already tried out so many of the recipes (special shout out to all the pastries!) and i cannot wait to continue. Some rainy Sunday when you have more time than money, it's well-worth indulging in one of these classic dishes. Thank you Chris-Rachel for bringing The Hobbit to life! YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  2. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    While author Chris-Rachel Oseland mostly considers her An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery as how J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits would have cooked and eaten in the fictional Shire of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fame, for me, An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery also clearly demonstrates that in J.R.R. Tolkien’s oeuvre, the Shire, with its specific emphasis on traditional rural Britain and village life also points out that with regard to Briti While author Chris-Rachel Oseland mostly considers her An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery as how J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits would have cooked and eaten in the fictional Shire of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fame, for me, An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery also clearly demonstrates that in J.R.R. Tolkien’s oeuvre, the Shire, with its specific emphasis on traditional rural Britain and village life also points out that with regard to British rural cookery, the very idea that the British cannot cook and that British foods lack flavour is in fact and actually a totally sad and uneducated joke. For albeit it is indeed true that British urban cooking often does seem to consist of rather mundane recipes lacking in flavour and texture (and having been boiled to death so to speak), traditional British country fare (and yes, as this is presented by J.R.R. Tolkien in his Shire and both in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings as well as by Chris-Tachel Oseland in An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery) is in my opinion really the absolute opposite, presenting rich and flavourful morsels and meals replete with traditional rural based ingredients (not good for one’s diet perhaps but perfectly suited to and for farming life, for having to be sufficiently fed in order to work and labour on the fields). A delightful array of mouthwatering recipes are therefore featured by Chris-Rachel Oseland in An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery (for every time of the day, from breakfast to dinner, alongside of fun and educational information on Tolkien’s Shire and his Hobbits, as well as the rural historic Britain on which the Shire is based, not to mention that Oseland also presents a number of vegan alternatives for her many of her presented recipes but that yes, and even naturally, especially in the lunch and dinner sections of An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery a lot of meat based recipes are indeed included).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    circa April 2020 we gave the Shortbread recipe a shot and it worked like a charm, cutting down the recipe to account for just the two of us, of course. We also made two little Apple Hand Pies in our cupcake tin at the end of September 2020 and they turned out beautifully - we'd cut the recipe down to 1/4 and barely had enough dough for two, but it worked out :) photos to come! I'm dying to try the Yorkshire pudding recipe, among others. circa April 2020 we gave the Shortbread recipe a shot and it worked like a charm, cutting down the recipe to account for just the two of us, of course. We also made two little Apple Hand Pies in our cupcake tin at the end of September 2020 and they turned out beautifully - we'd cut the recipe down to 1/4 and barely had enough dough for two, but it worked out :) photos to come! I'm dying to try the Yorkshire pudding recipe, among others.

  4. 5 out of 5

    P

    Loved the historical references and use of leftovers! I wish there was an easier way to cross-reference the recipes to see which ones would provide leftovers for which ones the next day for meal planning, I had to create my own chart.

  5. 5 out of 5

    E.F.B.

    I own this cookbook and it's one of my favorites. The recipes are great. I've made several of them, mostly the baked goods that are suitable for breakfast, and I've enjoyed all of them. Just be aware that all of this is food fit for Hobbits and therefore is NOT health food, but of course, if you don't like an ingredient, it's usually easy to substitute with something a little healthier or simply reduce the amount. There is also some interesting information in this cookbook about historical meals, I own this cookbook and it's one of my favorites. The recipes are great. I've made several of them, mostly the baked goods that are suitable for breakfast, and I've enjoyed all of them. Just be aware that all of this is food fit for Hobbits and therefore is NOT health food, but of course, if you don't like an ingredient, it's usually easy to substitute with something a little healthier or simply reduce the amount. There is also some interesting information in this cookbook about historical meals, so it's a good one to actually read through. I give this cookbook 5 stars and two hairy hobbit feet. "If you ever pass through Bag End, tea is at four. You are welcome ANY time. Don't bother knocking!" -Bilbo Baggins

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Koser

    In addition to being a cookbook, this is a delightful read. The recipes are written so you feel as if the author is personally sharing them with you, and they give a glimpse back into what food during Tolkien's day might have been like. Plus, most of the recipes give suggestions for how to recycle any leftovers into a new meal, a skill that seems largely lost in American culture. I did have a few issues with the book. First, there are several typos. Proofread, people! It's not that difficult to d In addition to being a cookbook, this is a delightful read. The recipes are written so you feel as if the author is personally sharing them with you, and they give a glimpse back into what food during Tolkien's day might have been like. Plus, most of the recipes give suggestions for how to recycle any leftovers into a new meal, a skill that seems largely lost in American culture. I did have a few issues with the book. First, there are several typos. Proofread, people! It's not that difficult to do. Second, several of the recipes forget to mention when an ingredient should be added, even though it's listed as necessary to the recipe. And third, the recipe for scones is either way too vague in its instructions, or it's just flat-out wrong. I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with burnt-on-the-bottom lumps of baked dough. However, the other three recipes I've tried (Mushroom Omelet, Steak and Ale Pie, and Rabbit Stew) have all turned out delightful, and I'm very interested in trying the rest of the ones in the book. If you're a seasoned cook, you should be able to handle a few missing instructions and just figure out when would be best to add certain ingredients. All things considered, I'd say this book is worth it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    Oseland doesn't follow the usual template of taking a quote from a book that mentions a food, than making a recipe based on that quote. Instead, she digs into Tolkien's life and letters and how he admits the Shire was based on a VERY specific time and place - the village he lived in when he was a child i.e. back when everything was Perfect. And to be fair, he fought in WWI and lived through WWII, so he was understandably soured on the 20th century. All the recipes are based on the food of the 18 Oseland doesn't follow the usual template of taking a quote from a book that mentions a food, than making a recipe based on that quote. Instead, she digs into Tolkien's life and letters and how he admits the Shire was based on a VERY specific time and place - the village he lived in when he was a child i.e. back when everything was Perfect. And to be fair, he fought in WWI and lived through WWII, so he was understandably soured on the 20th century. All the recipes are based on the food of the 1890's from the countryside of England - purposefully lower class and without access to foods from the Far East, Middle East and New World. She dives into the history and examines what would have been likely eaten and how it would have been cooked. And then she delightfully also offers how to use mixers, microwaves, and all things electric just in case you don't have a servant to "beat eggs until exhausted" as one cookbook from the time dictates. She offers vegetarian and vegan alternates, so everyone can participate. Oseland isn't too hung up on authenticity - she just wants everyone to have fun and be well provisioned for their own adventures!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mila

    I think the writing style is what made this book so entertaining for me, and I liked that there were vegetarian and vegan options, though some of the vegan swaps were already outdated, like you can find vegan butter even in Russia, you don't have to rely on coconut oil. I think the writing style is what made this book so entertaining for me, and I liked that there were vegetarian and vegan options, though some of the vegan swaps were already outdated, like you can find vegan butter even in Russia, you don't have to rely on coconut oil.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    What a delightful little book. If you're in the mood for hearty, decadent and simple meals, this recipe book is it. Inspired by Tolkien's childhood favourites, this book has recipes for every daily Hobbit meal, and whether you're fond of sweet bread, buns, fruit pies and cakes, or savoury dishes like roast chicken, breakfast sausages or pork pies, you'll find something to like. All these recipes are easy to make, use only a handful of ingredients, most of the time include leftovers from other rec What a delightful little book. If you're in the mood for hearty, decadent and simple meals, this recipe book is it. Inspired by Tolkien's childhood favourites, this book has recipes for every daily Hobbit meal, and whether you're fond of sweet bread, buns, fruit pies and cakes, or savoury dishes like roast chicken, breakfast sausages or pork pies, you'll find something to like. All these recipes are easy to make, use only a handful of ingredients, most of the time include leftovers from other recipes, and also vegan alternatives. Before each recipe there's also a little information about its historical context. I've saved a bunch of these recipes and I'm excited to try them!

  10. 4 out of 5

    MK ( Makayla)

    Due to quarantine and food shortages I doubt I'll be making any of these lovely Hobbit foods anytime soon . But a girl can dream 😂 Due to quarantine and food shortages I doubt I'll be making any of these lovely Hobbit foods anytime soon . But a girl can dream 😂

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Well researched, includes recipes and foods that would have been available during Tolkien’s childhood.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liz Wahba

    Lovely, Well-Researched, Great Presentation The book has a perfect Intro, describing the premise of tge cookbook: to write recipes from 1890s Yorkshire village life, as in his letters they're described as Tolkien's main inspiration. There are easy lists explaining what ingredients you would and would not find in the Shire, and an explanation of the six meals of hobbits. The organisation of the cookbook according to these meals is great for future rereads and reference. I definitely recommend it! Lovely, Well-Researched, Great Presentation The book has a perfect Intro, describing the premise of tge cookbook: to write recipes from 1890s Yorkshire village life, as in his letters they're described as Tolkien's main inspiration. There are easy lists explaining what ingredients you would and would not find in the Shire, and an explanation of the six meals of hobbits. The organisation of the cookbook according to these meals is great for future rereads and reference. I definitely recommend it! Good, practical recipes as well as some more fun respective ones; the perfect mix!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wheeler

    The Unexpected Cookbook delivers on its promises. Explanations of what you're reading about and why and it's well enough researched. However, I found the typos to be jarring. It seems like it wasn't proofread more than once. Also, the lack of knowledge about American cuisine, and the lack of knowledge about American dinner vs supper was also very weird. Overall, a good book, that would be a lot better with a couple more proof reads. The Unexpected Cookbook delivers on its promises. Explanations of what you're reading about and why and it's well enough researched. However, I found the typos to be jarring. It seems like it wasn't proofread more than once. Also, the lack of knowledge about American cuisine, and the lack of knowledge about American dinner vs supper was also very weird. Overall, a good book, that would be a lot better with a couple more proof reads.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    This is an unexpectedly great cookbook! The food ties in with the books, but more than that, it is a well-researched collection of recipes for British country cooking from a particular era. I didn't find anything in there that I wouldn't want to make--even the kidney pie, which is not part of my usual American palate, sounded good. I checked this out from the library, but I will be buying my own copy of it. This is an unexpectedly great cookbook! The food ties in with the books, but more than that, it is a well-researched collection of recipes for British country cooking from a particular era. I didn't find anything in there that I wouldn't want to make--even the kidney pie, which is not part of my usual American palate, sounded good. I checked this out from the library, but I will be buying my own copy of it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Lessard

    First of all, even though I am not vegan, I'm glad the authors put a vegan option. This makes me want to spend a morning cooking and then spend the rest of the day eating while watching The Hobbit trilogy. The recipes seem rather simple to make and don't have too many unusual ingredients, besides venison that can be tricky to find. Other than that, great pictures, everything looks good and hearthy! First of all, even though I am not vegan, I'm glad the authors put a vegan option. This makes me want to spend a morning cooking and then spend the rest of the day eating while watching The Hobbit trilogy. The recipes seem rather simple to make and don't have too many unusual ingredients, besides venison that can be tricky to find. Other than that, great pictures, everything looks good and hearthy!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Greymalkin

    This is a wonderful cookbook to read. I have no idea of the recipes are any good (though they seem pretty reasonable), but the research is fastidious and the commentary is hilarious! The combination of historical context with Tolkien world notes (so much shade cast on the elves!) is a total winner in my book. I read this first on kindle and enjoyed it so much I bought the dead-tree version. That one is even better because you get full-page photos and the pretty hobbit-journal-like layout.

  17. 4 out of 5

    (a)lyss(a)

    This is an interesting book! This book includes both recipes and history of Lord of the Rings to give context to the recipes. There's a nice variety of recipes from sweet to savory and lots to make you feel like a hobbit! While some of these recipes aren't any different from what yo'd find in a regular cook book, I like the hobbit perspective on eating root vegetables or taking tea. There's also a photo for every recipe which is nice. This is an interesting book! This book includes both recipes and history of Lord of the Rings to give context to the recipes. There's a nice variety of recipes from sweet to savory and lots to make you feel like a hobbit! While some of these recipes aren't any different from what yo'd find in a regular cook book, I like the hobbit perspective on eating root vegetables or taking tea. There's also a photo for every recipe which is nice.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Valentine

    I love it I love it I love it. This cookbook is an absolute delight. The author included wonderful facts and anecdotes about Tolkien's childhood and the origin of hobbit food. The recipes are great. I am nostalgic for a time I didn't even live through. I love it I love it I love it. This cookbook is an absolute delight. The author included wonderful facts and anecdotes about Tolkien's childhood and the origin of hobbit food. The recipes are great. I am nostalgic for a time I didn't even live through.

  19. 5 out of 5

    bibliotrain

    Bilbo Worthy Recipes This book, unexpectedly, shares historical tidbits and facts about Tolkien's time. Common ingredients turn into delightful fare. I recommend this book to Tolkien and food fans alike. Bilbo Worthy Recipes This book, unexpectedly, shares historical tidbits and facts about Tolkien's time. Common ingredients turn into delightful fare. I recommend this book to Tolkien and food fans alike.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Lovely recipes! The majority of these recipes are very achievable and I can not wait to try them. A group of my friends and I are planning a LOTR weekend and having hobbit themed meals. Thank you for this book and the wonderful recipes!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Niamh Anne King

    I love this! Best Christmas present, ever!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Abraham Ray

    Great cookbook based upon the hobbit!

  23. 5 out of 5

    fred cormack

    Love hobbits! Delightful premise and many great recipes. Brings up memories of a wonderful month spent in the UK, or was that the Shire???

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ken Franck

    Fun stuff

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eli Goh

    It's amazing how the author can visualise all these and put them into a cookbook. Can't wait to try them out soon. It's amazing how the author can visualise all these and put them into a cookbook. Can't wait to try them out soon.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Berry

    Good Victorian staple recipes Fun cookbook to read, this author has a friendly chatty tone that makes you feel like a good friend is sharing comfort food recipes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    DK Hoffman

    Well, I didn't exactly read every page, but I skimmed the "blurb" of each recipe. This book is a delight! We've made 15 of the recipes so far and have absolutely loved them. I especially like the suggestions for using the left overs - very economical and sensible. I'm an old fashioned cook (I use recipes that date back four generations in my family) and love the wholesome, country style goodness of these recipes. As someone else mentioned, I did notice a type-o and wish that the editing had been Well, I didn't exactly read every page, but I skimmed the "blurb" of each recipe. This book is a delight! We've made 15 of the recipes so far and have absolutely loved them. I especially like the suggestions for using the left overs - very economical and sensible. I'm an old fashioned cook (I use recipes that date back four generations in my family) and love the wholesome, country style goodness of these recipes. As someone else mentioned, I did notice a type-o and wish that the editing had been more careful. In the "Strawberries and Cream Bread" the ingredients call for 1/2 cup heavy cream, but the text mentions 1 cup heavy cream. I believe the 1/2 cup measurement is correct. At least that's what I used this morning and the bread turned out moist, light and delicious. Some of the ingredients are a bit unusual (at least these days), but my local chain grocery store has had everything. The meat department just had to order the rabbit and oxtail for me, but everything else has been in stock. One doesn't have to be a Hobbit fan to appreciate these recipes. This is down-home country cooking at its best.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tory

    Usually when I get a cookbook I just skim through the recipes, but when An Unexpected Cookbook came in the mail I sat down and read through every recipe step by step. Not only am I excited to make some delicious Hobbit inspired meals from these recipes, but I also learned a whole lot about Victorian-era food and cooking, and what types of things Tolkien would have eaten throughout his life. There's a lot of personality and humor mixed in throughout the steps of the recipes, which makes them more Usually when I get a cookbook I just skim through the recipes, but when An Unexpected Cookbook came in the mail I sat down and read through every recipe step by step. Not only am I excited to make some delicious Hobbit inspired meals from these recipes, but I also learned a whole lot about Victorian-era food and cooking, and what types of things Tolkien would have eaten throughout his life. There's a lot of personality and humor mixed in throughout the steps of the recipes, which makes them more entertaining to read than any cookbook I've encountered before. The suggestions for how to reuse leftovers in other recipes is also a plus. This is a really cute and engrossing cookbook! I'd recommend it to anyone who likes Tolkien!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stella

    I am thumbing through this (re-reading) after reading Recipes From the World of Tolkien by Robert Tuesley Anderson, and while I haven't baked from either book yet, I think Oseland does a better job of being true to Tolkien's intent. This cookbook has beautiful photographs of the food. It is well-researched as to the appropriate ingredients and traditional dishes of the era Tolkien was deliberately invoking. The other cookbook I might recommend would be Heroes' Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook, a I am thumbing through this (re-reading) after reading Recipes From the World of Tolkien by Robert Tuesley Anderson, and while I haven't baked from either book yet, I think Oseland does a better job of being true to Tolkien's intent. This cookbook has beautiful photographs of the food. It is well-researched as to the appropriate ingredients and traditional dishes of the era Tolkien was deliberately invoking. The other cookbook I might recommend would be Heroes' Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook, as it would compliment a Tolkien party with food for dwarves, elves, hobbits, and humans.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Symmonz

    Great recipes and fun reading The recipes were great, and the author also used some quirkiness in the directions. For example: (quoting from memory, so not exact) "Cook up 5 strips of bacon. 3 go into the pie, 2 go into your mouth. If you don't want to eat extra bacon while cooking, just cook 3 strips." I've a actually made a couple of the dishes since purchasing this book, and they came out great! Great recipes and fun reading The recipes were great, and the author also used some quirkiness in the directions. For example: (quoting from memory, so not exact) "Cook up 5 strips of bacon. 3 go into the pie, 2 go into your mouth. If you don't want to eat extra bacon while cooking, just cook 3 strips." I've a actually made a couple of the dishes since purchasing this book, and they came out great!

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