NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 9/21/2011 7:59am by Amy Philson.

Check out these upcoming fall programs offered by Jennings Environmental Education Center:

(Call 724-794-6011 for more registrations or more information.)


Ohio River Watershed Celebration; Networking Cruise

Thursday, September 22, 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Spend the afternoon sailing Pittsburgh's three rivers aboard the Gateway Clipper’s largest boat, the “Majestic”.  This FREE cruise is a regional celebration of environmental accomplishments occurring within the Ohio River Watershed and is open to the public.  Jennings is proud to be a partner and supporter of this informative and entertaining event, which attracted over 800 people last year!  The cruise is designed for adults over the age of 18 who want to learn more about the Ohio River Watershed via displays, presentations and interaction with conservation and watershed related groups, businesses and individuals.

National Public Lands Day

Saturday, September 24, 9:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.

Jennings is looking for interested folks willing to spend a fall day pitching in at the park to celebrate the 16th annual National Public Lands Day. Volunteers will work on several projects related to trail construction and maintenance, painting and staining. Participants must be age 12 or older and must pre-register for the program no later than September 16, either online via the DCNR Calendar of Events (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar/list.asp) or by contacting the Center at 724-794-6011. As a special thank you, lunch will be provided and each participant will receive a commemorative T-shirt!


Wood Duck Workshop

Wednesday, September 28, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m

Habitat loss is a leading cause of the decline of certain animal species.  Bring the family and take part in “giving back” to wildlife.  An informal pizza dinner will be provided, while participants learn about wood ducks, take a short walk to view their habitat and then construct a nest box to take home or to donate. Program cost is $20 per each box that an individual or family wishes to build; dinner for everyone is included.  Pre-registration required by September 25.  Register either online via the DCNR Calendar of Events (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar/list.asp) or by contacting the Center at 724-794-6011.


Wings over Water

Saturday, October 9, 9:00 a.m. – ~2:00 p.m.

Recreational kayaking can be an enjoyable experience. Jennings will be hosting our first of many seasonal kayaking trips along a tranquil reach of Slippery Rock Creek. While kayaking, participants will have opportunities to enjoy the many species of birds that inhabit the area. All necessary equipment and a creek-side hot lunch will be provided during this four hour paddle. Program cost is $10 and space is limited. Registration begins September 27th at 9:00am, and space is very limited. If interested contact the Center at 724-794-6011.


Fall Mushroom Walk

Sunday, October 16, 2:00 p.m.

Like fruits and vegetables, many of Pennsylvania’s mushrooms emerge and grow seasonally.  Join mushroom enthusiast Ron Donlan for a brief indoor introduction followed by an outdoor walk to search for and identify fall favorites.  Beginners or veterans of past mushroom programs (ages 12 and up) are welcome.  There is no fee for this program, but participation will be limited in order to keep the group to a manageable size.  Pre-registration is requested by Wednesday, October 12, either online at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar/list.asp or by calling 724-794-6011.

Posted 9/14/2011 3:19pm by Amy Philson.


Edamame is young soybeans, usually still in the pod. Because the beans are young and green when they are picked, edamame soybeans are soft and edible, not hard and dry like the mature soybeans which are used to make soy milk and tofu.

Some grocery stores such as Trader Joe's also sell green edamame that has been hulled, and is outside of the pod. This hulled edamame is great for making salads or adding to rice dishes or Japanese food, but the flavor of the pod is great if you just want a quick edamame snack.

Wondering how to cook edamame? To cook edamame that is still in the pod, boil the pods in salted water, or, steam your edamame, then sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. You can eat edamame hot or cold.

Wondering how to eat edamame? To eat edamame, place the pod at your mouth, then squeeze or bite the beans into your mouth. You don't eat the pod, just the edamame beans inside, which easily pop out.

Spicy Roasted Edamame (from allrecipes.com)


  • 1 1/4 cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Place the thawed edamame into a mixing bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, then sprinkle with chili powder, basil, onion powder, cumin, paprika, and pepper. Toss until the edamame are evenly coated with the oil and spices. Spread into a 9x13 inch glass baking dish in a single layer.
  3. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven until the beans begin to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir once halfway through cooking.


Heirloom Tomato Salad (from epicurious.com)


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved if small or cut into 1/2-inch wedges if medium or large


Whisk together vinegar, salt, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until dressing is emulsified. Add tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Heirloom-Tomato-Salad-106909#ixzz1Xvl1fx6n

Tomato Corn Salad (from tasteofhome.com)


  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups fresh corn (about 9 ears of corn)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


  • In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a large skillet, saute corn in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in mustard. Add to vegetable mixture; toss to coat. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 7 servings.


Corn and Zucchini Medley (from allrecipes.com)


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. Drain bacon, chop, and set aside.
  2. Heat the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Saute the zucchini, corn, and onion until tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Spoon vegetables into a bowl, and sprinkle with chopped bacon and shredded cheese.


Green Beans and Red Pepper Salad (from mayoclinic.com)


    • 1 pound green beans, stems trimmed
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and julienne (*sub Italian red)
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili paste or red pepper flakes
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cut the beans into 2-inch pieces. Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until they turn bright green and are tender-crisp, 1 to 3 minutes. Drain the beans, then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and toss and stir for about 1 minute. Add the beans and saute for 1 minute longer. Add the chili paste and garlic and stir for 1 minute. The beans will be tender and bright green. Drizzle with the sesame oil and season with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


Orange infused roasted green beans and red pepper (from veggie101.com)

Simply toss together trimmed green beans and sliced red bell pepper (*sub Italian red) in olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and orange zest. Spread on a baking sheet, bake for about 15-20 minutes, and you're done!

A quick note about the green beans: roasting them raw for 15-20 minutes doesn't exactly yield tender beans. They will still have much crunch to them, and you may even think they're slightly tough. They will wilt, but if you want them to be more tender, try steaming them first for a few minutes. Or, you could try roasting them a bit longer before adding the bell peppers.


Posted 9/14/2011 8:47am by Amy Philson.

Northwest PA Growers Co-op


September 2011


Third newsletter of the season!

Slippery Rock Village Fest!

The 10th annual Slippery Rock Village Fest was held this past weekend, September 10, 2011 in downtown Slippery Rock.  There were over 100 booths of crafts, food vendors, informational booths and more!  The main street was packed with booths and people enjoying the festivities.  The NWPAGC had a booth and was represented by Sarah Johnston, the manager of the Co-op. There was a steady stream of interested persons in and out of the tent all day!  Pat Nelson, John Steiner and Herb Thompson also showed support for the Co-op by volunteering some of their time by manning the booth for a few hours.  Overall, the Co-op was well represented, and we were able to get the word out to the community about what we represent and what services we provide to this region!

NWPAGC booth at village fest Sept. 10, 2011


NWPAGC Poster for Village Fest 2011


Pat Nelson, Herb Thompson and Sarah Johnston at the booth!

Featured Farm: Fruitful Farm, Cochranton PA!

They are a small 3rd in to 4th generation family farm that grows produce and crops with methods to heal the land, and raise animals outside in the fresh air and green grass. Healthier land, healthier plants, healthier animals, healthier families, yours and mine.

An Interview with Lori Bender of Fruitful Farm:

 How long have you been farming at Fruitful Farm?
My dad Ray bought the farm in 1969. It was a dairy farm shortly before then. Dad and my grandpa fixed the place up, and planted a new orchard to replace the original orchard that was here. The farm was mostly a hobby farm with fields farmed by neighbors until 1990's when I was old enough to really help out and started my ideas for what the farm could do. Paul and I married in 1999 and we moved back to the home farm in 2000 right before our first child Judy was born.

What kinds of livestock do you raise?
We raise beef, pork, goats and chickens for meat sale. That is the plain answer. I started with horses as a kid. Then I got into grass fed beef, that were jersey cross calves from a neighbor's farm. That got us hooked on the sweet, yellow fat, and great dark marbled taste of grass fed Jersey beef. We currently have a total of 18 cow critters in the pasture. Daisy (our family milk cow), Flower, and Beauty are our breeding cows. Lilly and Rosey are this year's heifer (girl) calves and the rest are steers of different ages from this year’s calves to full size beef. We started with hogs about 5 years ago. Currently we have two breeding females who are yorkshire duroc cross hogs, Mrs. Piggy and Freckles. Hero is our herd boar and is a Hereford hog. Herford's were originated in Iowa in the 1920's and are an excellent pasture animal. We also have two of our daughter's show hogs from the Crawford County Fair, and two little weanling piggies. The goats are Opal, Ashley, Ann The Goat and Bucky. The girls are Alpines and Sanann which are dairy breeds, and Bucky is a Boar goat which is a meat breed. We expect Opal to kid in the fall. We still have two horses Mizzy and Sassy, a pony Mini Pearl and a mini horse named Misty. Flocks of fuzzy cornish cross chicks arrive and grow into pasture- raised chickens, living in portable chicken tractors in the yard and pastures. The laying hens and noisy roosters roam free like the other fowl on the farm. Our geese, duck (we had more but racoons like duck too) and turkeys are currently at pet status being breeding animals only. All of our babies hatched this year have become raccoon, coyote, or hawk food. We have 3 dogs Shepard, Tippy and Hunter, too many cats and kittens plus the girls two pet Bettas.

Which is your favorite kind of livestock?

This is a hard question to answer. The cows are pretty to watch, and have a routine coming in to the pasture and out of the woods almost like clockwork. Our animals are very quiet and friendly. The cows have an inquisitive nature and love attention and a look forward to moving into the next pasture lot. Plus, I have to agree with the kids, cows can lick their own nose.

 Do you have a favorite animal on the farm?
That too is a trick question. Our horses, dogs and cats have pet status. My picks would be Sassy the horse, Shep the dog and then Pumpkin the cat. The trick is that our breeding animals also become special to us and have their own places in our hearts too.

  Since this is a family farm, what do the kids do to help?
 Paul and I as well as generations of farmers, that farming is not a job, it's a lifestyle. The children live on the farm. They have a deep want to do their part. The biggest thing for us is keeping the children within their abilities, and fosters their love for this life and all that is in it. Our children gather eggs, feed chickens, brush everyone they can get their hands on, fill stock tanks, help move animals, open gates for tractors, chase the goats back into the pasture, pet peeps, clean stalls, help in the garden, pick apples and pears, eat I mean pick berries and all of the rest of it. If Paul and I want to ground them, we take away barn chores. They hate to be grounded to the house.


Bender kids on the farm

 Do you have favorite beef or pork recipe that is easy to make for those busy evenings when you have had a full day with the kids and animals?
Beef is great, Roasts in the crock pot or stew meat with broth, onions, carrots and a potato is easy. The fastest is canned beef sprinkled with flour to make a gravy heated in a sauce pan and poured over anything (rice, mashed potatoes, biscuits toast etc. Pork roast with apples, potatoes and onions is great in the crock pot. Sweet sausage sandwiches cooked with tomatoes, onions and peppers over hearty bread is a hit too.

 Tell us something about your family life.
Our children are Judy 11, Jessica 8, Jordan 6, Joanna 4, and Joshua 20 months. I am Lori and my hard working husband is Paul. We live in a pre-civil war farm house which is been in some form of remodel since 1969, and maybe before that. We own 115 acres, with woods, sugar bush, fields, pastures, orchards, springs, creeks and a pond. I am the last farmer on my dad's side and one of two farming grand-kids on my mother's side. My husband Paul seems to be born to farm, and if you get to meet our son Josh, the first thing he might say is "tractor".
We love this life, our animals, and our land. It can be a lot of hard work, but our children live in the fresh air, know the beauty of the sunset painted each night, and the satisfaction of being caretaker of it all. 
When asked "What is your job? What does your job do?" Only the farmers can answer "We feed the world."

Family Time at the Bender's

Mother Earth News Fair: September 24-25, 2011!

Don’t worry, its not too late to plan a trip to Seven Springs Resort in Seven Springs PA for the Mother Earth News Fair!  Tickets are still available online, or at the gate the day-of.  You won’t want to miss this event, with multiple stages with demonstrations, lectures and hundreds of exhibits, you won’t get bored!  Head to http://www.motherearthnews.com/fair/home.aspx for more information on the event, and how to purchase tickets!

 If you cannot make it to this once-a-year event, don’t worry!  We will have more information on the events in the next newsletter as a few co-op growers and the manager are going to this event!

Annual Sustainable Feast!

What? A feast, with live entertainment, local and sustainable food, prepared by top chefs and restaurants

When? Saturday, October 1, 2011, 2:00pm to 6:00pm

Where? Springdale High School, Springdale, PA

Website: http://rachel_carson_homestead.myupsite.com/2011/08/30/annual-sustainable-feast/

Western PA Farm Tour this weekend with PASA!

Take an up-close look at where your food is grown and raised!  This year, seventeen farms are opening their gates to you for an exclusive and personal "behind the barn" look at life on the farm.  Pick an apple, pet some sheep, take a picture with a cow, collect chicken eggs, sample fresh baked bread, purchase fall decorations and much more!”

When? September 17, 2011 from 1pm – 5pm

Website: http://www.buylocalpa.org/farmtour
Posted 9/7/2011 7:55pm by Amy Philson.

Marinated Refrigerated Peppers (recipe from Colorado State University Extension)

Remember, all pickled pepper products stored at room temperature must be processed, to avoid the risk of botulism toxin development during storage. The boiling water bath processing step can be omitted if pickles are stored in the refrigerator. Use the following procedure.

Wash peppers. Small peppers may be left whole with two small slits in each pepper. Core and cut large peppers into strips.

Sterilize jars, lids and screwbands. Pack peppers tightly into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

For each 6 cups of brine, combine 5 cups vinegar, 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon pickling salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer five minutes.

Pour vinegar solution over peppers, leaving 1/8-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust headspace so that brine covers all peppers. Wipe rims.

Place sterilized flats on jars. Do not put on screwbands. Allow jars to cool. Put on screwbands and wipe jars. Refrigerate six to eight weeks for the pickled flavor to fully develop. Keep refrigerated and use within six months. This pepper product allows the peppers to marinate in a high acid solution, at a cold temperature, and in the presence of air. These conditions are not favorable for botulism toxin formation. It does not ensure against other types of spoilage


Jalapeno Poppers - a hot pepper recipe that makes almost the same appetizer you'll find in restaurants (recipe from www.backyard-vegetable-gardening.com)

12 fresh Jalapeno peppers (*substitute any hot pepper)
3 oz cream cheese, softened
3 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup flour
1 cup fine bread crumbs
vegetable oil

Heat 2 inches of oil in a sauce pan to 350 degrees F.

Cut a slit lengthwise in each pepper from stem to bottom. Insert a knife and remove the seeds and veins.

Mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese and salt. Stuff cheese mixture into peppers. Press the seam closed so that the pepper retains its shape.

Beat 3 eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Put flour in a separate shallow bowl. Put bread crumbs in a third separate shallow bowl.

Dip stuffed peppers in egg/milk mixture. Then roll in flour until covered and place on a plate. Repeat this process until all peppers are covered with flour.

Dip floured peppers back into milk/egg mixture and roll in bread crumbs until well covered.

Fry the stuffed peppers 3-4 at a time until golden brown, turning once - usually 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve. This pepper recipe can be modified with mozarella cheese, Monterrey jack cheese, etc...

with ROSEMARY & GARLIC OIL (recipe from kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com)

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife

Big pot of well-salted water
1 pound fresh green beans, ends snipped
Big bowl of ice water

Fresh basil, chopped into thin ribbons
1 bulb shallot, peeled and sliced thin on the cross-wise
Good salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel or another large-grain flaky salt (don't skip this - it somehow makes the dish)

ROSEMARY & GARLIC OIL In a small saucepan, gently warm the olive oil, rosemary and garlic just until the garlic begins to sizzle. Turn off the heat and let the rosemary and garlic flavors infuse the oil.

BEANS Bring the water to a boil. Drop in the beans and let them cook for about 7 minutes, until done but still bright green and quite crispy. Drain the beans and immediately immerse into the ice water, let cool for a minute or two and then drain again. Place the beans on a double layer of paper towels and pat to dry.

TO FINISH Toss the beans with about 1 tablespoon of the oil, reserving the rest for another purpose (or more beans, tomorrow). (Stop here if making ahead of time.) Arrange on a serving plate, sprinkle with basil, shallot rings and salt.

TO MAKE AHEAD Cook the beans, toss in the oil, then refrigerate. Arrange on a serving plate, let warm to room temperature, then sprinkle with basil, shallot and salt.


WORLD'S BEST GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE (from kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/)

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, November-December 2006
Printer Friendly Recipe
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 8 in small-ish servings for a big dinner

TO MAKE AHEAD The day before, cook the beans, make the sauce and combine; mix the topping but don't add it yet. Before dinner, bring back to room temperature, allowing plenty of time, especially for a double or triple batch; bake at 425F for 10 - 40 minutes until bubbly. Apply topping and bake for another 15 minutes.

Step-by-Step Photos: How to Cook the Green Beans
If doubling or tripling the recipe means cooking the beans in batches, start each batch with fresh water; at minimum, re-salt the water with each new batch. Also, don't skip the drying process.

2 quarts (8 cups) water
1 tablespoon table salt (salt is key to the flavor so don't skimp; if you don't have table salt, use twice as much as the relatively 'less salty' kosher salt or sea salt)
1 pound fresh green beans, ends snapped, snapped into bite-size pieces

Bring the water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. While it comes to a boil, prep the beans. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes or until crisp-tender and still bright green. (Be sure to cook the beans to your desired level of doneness; from here on, they will reheat but won't cook more.) Drain beans in a colander, then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain a bit in the colander again. Place a double layer of paper towels on a baking sheet, arrange beans in single layer to dry, top with a double layer of towels and pat to dry. Let continue to dry while finishing.

Step-by-Step Photos: How to Cook the Mushroom Sauce
If this looks a lot like a thick, homemade mushroom soup, that's because it is!

8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms (I like the color of the brown portabella but taste-wise, they're the same as white button mushrooms)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
Generous grind of fresh pepper or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon dry sherry
3/4 cup half & half or heavy cream (don't use fat-free half-n-half, it won't thicken)
Salt & pepper to taste

Clean the mushrooms; break off and discard the stems. (Better yet, use the stems to make a night-before-Thanksgiving mushroom soup.) Break the mushroom tops into pieces. (Breaking the tops into irregular pieces is important to the texture of this sauce for sliced mushrooms have a 'canned soup' texture.) Melt the butter in a skillet til shimmery. (To save a pan, use the pot used for cooking the beans.) Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Stirring often, cook til mushrooms begin to soften and exude their liquid, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook a minute. A tablespoon at a time at first, add the chicken stock and sherry; bring to a simmer. Add the half & half, simmer til sauce thickens, about 10 - 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the cooked beans til they're evenly distributed throughout the sauce.

Step-by-Step Photos: How to Mix the Topping and Bake
Note: The quantity below is 'half' what the inspiring recipe used; the full amount seemed way over the top to me, half was plenty and hardly skimpy for the shallow quiche dish I use to bake this in. I use the quantity below even when doubling the beans and the mushroom sauce; how much is needed seems to be a function of the size of the serving dish; 'half' is perfect for that shallow quiche dish.

1 slice good whole grain bread (I use this Light 'n' Fluffy Homemade Whole Grain Bread but any good whole-grain bread will work)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 a 2.8 ounce can of French fried onions
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In the food processor, process the bread, butter and seasonings in about 10 quick pulses. Stir in the onions -- but don't process. If making ahead, transfer to a storage container and refrigerate.

TO BAKE RIGHT AWAY Preheat oven to 425F. Transfer hot bean mixture to a greased quiche pan or baking dish. Top the beans with the topping mixture and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

TO BAKE LATER Transfer bean mixture to a greased quiche pan or baking dish (hold off on the topping mixture), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Return to room temperature. Remove plastic wrap. Heat in 425F oven uncovered for about 10 - 40 minutes until hot and bubbly. (Ten minutes is enough for a shallow dish like a quiche pan. Allow more time for a deeper dish.) Add topping and bake for another 15 minutes.


Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Goat Cheese, and Sage Recipe (http://simplyrecipes.com)


  • 1.5 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh sage
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese chevre


1 Place the potatoes and salt in a pot and fill the pot with cold water until the potatoes are covered. Bring to a boil over high heat, then bring the heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the potatoes. Drain the water from the potatoes.

2 Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and brown the butter. The butter will foam for a bit before calming down. When the butter turns to a light amber color watch for it to turn to a nutty brown (this can happen very quickly). Immediately take off heat. Add the chopped sage to the butter (it may cause some foaming). Pour over the potatoes.

3 Add the goat cheese chevre, and milk and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth and all ingredients are well incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

CREAM CHEESY POTATO MASH  (from: www.cooks.com)

6 medium to large potatoes
1/2 cup milk
3 t. butter
1 t. salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 stick softened cream cheese (4oz.)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Peel potatoes and cut into cubes. Boil potatoes 15 mins. or until done. Drain and transfer potatoes into a large mixing bowl, add butter, salt, cream cheese, sour cream, milk.

Mix with hand mixer until blended together. Add chopped onion, cheese and stir.

Place in oven-safe casserole dish and bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes.


Posted 9/6/2011 7:24am by Amy Philson.
The NWPAGC will have an informational booth set up at the Slippery Rock Village Fest this Saturday, September 10th.  Join us in the fun and festivities in the festival!  Our booth number is 35, and just look for the big banner with our name on it!  The manager, Sarah, will be manning the table, so come on by and chat with her! The Festival is from 10am to 5pm, so stop by any time!
Posted 9/2/2011 7:40am by Amy Philson.
Posted 8/25/2011 1:37pm by Amy Philson.

Tomato Basil Pasta (from marthastewart.com)


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 pound cooked and drained short pasta (such as campanelle)
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 pound burrata or mozzarella cheese
  • Small basil leaves

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella (from foodnetwork.com)


  • 2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • Panzanella Croutons, recipe follows
  • 2 cups trimmed arugula
  • Wedge Parmesan, for shaving


Drain the tomatoes in a sieve to remove excess liquid while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Add the croutons and toss well.

Divide tomato mixture among 4 plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of the arugula. With a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately.

Michael's Notes: I've used basil and tarragon here, but you can use any herbs you like. Parsley and marjoram come to mind as good alternatives.

Panzanella Croutons:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced garlic

6 cups crustless cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)

Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and preheat a cookie sheet in it.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until it foams. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the cheese and toss again while warm to melt the cheese.

Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 8 or 9 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Michael's Notes: I use a serrated knife to remove the crust from day-old bread, then switch to a chef's knife to cut the cubes because it doesn't tear the bread. Also note that I recommend grating the Parmesan finely so that it will stick to the bread better.

Yield: about 6 cups

3 ways to use your green beans (from johndlee.hubpages.com)

Bacon and honey mustard green beans

Get a few rashers of a good thick smoky bacon, and fry until almost, but not quite crispy. Meanwhile, boil your beans in well salted water, until just done (beans need to be cooked, none of this al dente business with beans!). Take the bacon out of the pan, and cut or crumble, and use the bacon fat with about half as much red wine vinegar, a dash of honey and a tsp of Dijon, whisked together. Toss with the warm beans, and season with salt to taste. You could also add some new potatoes to make this a more substantial side.

Caramelized onion and parmesan beans

Fry a sliced onion very slowly in olive oil, until golden brown, and seriously reduced. This should take the better part of half an hour. You want the onion to start caramelizing, so watch it closely as it nears the end, as those onion sugars will tend to burn if left unattended.

Boil your beans in well salted water until cooked, about 5 minutes, and toss with the caramelized onions in olive oil. Add about ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and salt if needed.

Grilled beans

A twist on the usual grilled veg's. Coat your green beans in olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill over medium heat, until slightly charred and softened, about 15 minutes. These are great dressed with a little more olive oil and either a balsamic or red wine vinegar. Or use as part of a grilled vegetable salad.

Green bean casseroles, salad Nicoise, Indian spiced fried green beans…it's all so good. Eating locally and with the seasons is a pleasure, and be sure to take advantage of whatever is flooding your local farmers market right now.

7 Ways to use your corn! (from www.mnn.com)

  1. Cut the kernels off the cobs and mix with a small bit of garlic, diced tomato (really just a bit), salt, pepper and some pumpkin seed oil. Makes a great summer salad. (via Chowhound)
  2. Cut the kernels off and toss them on top of a fresh salad (via PlentyOfFish)
  3. Use it to make corn chowder. Try this recipe that calls for three ears of corn from Simply Recipes.
  4. Corn fritters – try this buttermilk recipe from Mother Earth News or this regular milk recipe from Paula Dean (something tells me she knows how to make a mean corn fritter) Note: 2 large ears of corn are about the equivalent of one can of corn
  5. Make some avocado corn salsa
  6. Throw it into cornbread 
  7. Add it to an omelet like in this fresh corn omelet with smoked mozzarella and basil

White Potato Pie (from allrecipes.com)


  • 2 potatoes - peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 (9 inch) pie shell


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl mix sugar, baking powder, and salt, then add potatoes and butter or margarine; mix well. Gradually add whipping cream and milk, stirring until well blended. Stir in lemon rind, juice, vanilla, and nutmeg. Add beaten eggs and mix well.
  3. Pour mixture into pie shells and put in preheated oven. Bake for 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Best when served cold.
Posted 8/18/2011 7:00am by Amy Philson.

Lemongrass: This will make 12 cups of hot or iced tea.  Two stalks make 4 cups of great tea...either hot or iced. Lemongrass tea has sedative and diuretic effects.  Chop two whole stalks (meaty and grassy parts) in 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil then immediately turn to simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain.  For four cups of iced tea add a couple of mint leaves & one tablespoon of honey.  For one cup of hot tea just add a touch of honey.

Tomatillo: Tomatillos, pronounced [toh-MAH-tee-YO]
Botanical name: Physalis philadelphica. A relative of the tomato and member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family tomatillos provide that tart flavor in a host of Mexican green sauces. In Mexico the fruit is called tomates verdes, tomates de cascara as well as fresadillas.

The fruits average about 1 -2" wide and have a papery outer skin. The tomatillo is actually used when it is still green. If you see the photo below one of the tomatillos is just turning a light yellow and indicates that is ripe and past its prime for most uses. Tomatillos have a very tart flavor, not at all like a tomato. (from gourmetsleuth.com)

Applesauce recipe (from simplyrecipes.com)


  • 3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples. (Make sure you use a good cooking apple like Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonathan, Mcintosh, or Gravenstein.)
  • 4 strips of lemon peel - use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
  • 3 inches of cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


1. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

2. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.

Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated. Delicious with vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt.

Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde (from allrecipes.com)


  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 serrano chile peppers, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups water


  1. Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chile pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.


Chicken enchiladas with a roasted tomatillo chile salsa (from foodnetwork.com)


Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 lime, juiced


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock, storebought
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 deli roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), boned, meat shredded
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 large flour tortillas
  • 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • Chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Spicy Black Beans, recipe follows
  • Yellow Rice, recipe follows
  • Guacamole, optional


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the salsa:

On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.


Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish, cilantro and tomato.

Serve hot with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, the remaining tomatillo salsa, sour cream and fresh guacamole, if desired.

Spicy Black Beans:

  • 2 cups (about 1 pound) dried black beans, picked over, soaked overnight
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, soak beans overnight covered in water by 2 inches. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the beans and season with salt and pepper.

Yellow Rice:

  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Pepper Jelly (from foodnetwork.com)


  • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh hot green pepper, such as jalapeno or serrano
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces pectin (recommended: Certo)
  • 4 drops green food coloring
  • Special Equipment: 6 (1/2-pint) canning jars with lids


Process bell pepper and hot pepper in a food processor until finely minced. Combine pepper mixture, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add pectin and food coloring. Pour into sterilized jars and seal*.

*Cook's Note: Follow USDA guidelines for proper sterilization and canning procedures.

* Sterilizing Jars

Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Sterilizing Tips:

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.

Before filling with jams, pickles or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 175 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Or boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water or the oven. Be sure tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.

Couscous stuffed peppers with a basil sauce (from foodnetwork.com)



  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 packed cup chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium red bell peppers (*sub. Green peppers)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper (*)
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper (*)
  • Hot water, as needed


  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra, as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra, as needed


Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Filling: In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and cumin to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover the pan until the couscous is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes. Put the couscous in a large bowl and add the beans, currants, spinach, feta and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until all the ingredients are combined.

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all the ribs and seeds. If necessary, cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up. Stuff the peppers with the filling and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Put the peppers in an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish. Fill the baking dish with 3/4-inch hot water and bake until the filling is golden and the peppers are cooked through, about 55 to 60 minutes. Cooks Note: If the filling begins to brown too quickly, cover the pan with foil.)

Sauce: In a blender, combine the basil, creme fraiche, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Remove the peppers from the oven and arrange on serving plates. Spoon the sauce around the peppers and serve.

Hot Pepper Vinegar Recipe (from eclecticrecipes.com)


  • Hot peppers, any variety (*Cayenne pepper)
  • Garlic (optional)
  • White Vinegar
  • a few peppercorns (optional)


  1. Clean the jars you are going to be using in the dishwasher or boiling water. Bring vinegar to a boil. Wash peppers and either chop then to fit in your jar like I have done, or put a little slit in them so that the vinegar penetrates them. Trim top stems too.
  2. Add peppers, garlic and peppercorns to a decorative bottle or jar. Pour boiling vinegar over peppers. Make sure peppers are completely covered with vinegar.
  3. Leave a little head-space, airspace in between the peppers and vinegar and the lid, and close the lid. Let it sit for a few weeks and enjoy. I always store them in the pantry, if it make you feel better, store in the fridge.


Posted 8/11/2011 2:03pm by Amy Philson.
Hi Everyone!
  This is a reminder that the logo contest is coming to a close on August 15, so please send me your logo ideas! Email a picture to marditheaw@att.net, or send me a copy in the mail to 9235 Pont Road, Albion PA 16401.  We are excited to see who the logo contest winner is - and this winner will have their logo on our new pamphlets and other products!

Posted 8/11/2011 6:21am by Amy Philson.

Fresh Tomato Salsa (from delish.com)


  • 4 cup(s) diced tomatoes (5-6 medium)
  • 3/4 cup(s) finely diced red onion ( about 1 small)
  • 1/4 cup(s) red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2  jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • cayenne pepper, to taste


  1. Combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar, jalapeño, cilantro, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Simple Cooked Tomato Salsa Recipe (from simplyrecipes.com)


  • 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes, cored and cut in half
  • 1 whole jalapeño chili pepper (or a serrano), stem removed, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


1 Put tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, salt, and water into a blender. Purée for 20 seconds, until completely liquified.


2 Heat olive oil in a sauce pan on medium high. Pour purée into pan. Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture completely changes color from light red to a much darker red, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Keep refrigerated when not using.

6 Ways to enjoy your corn! (from marthastewart.com)

Boil:  Using a pot large enough to hold all your corn, fill it 2/3 with water. Bring water to a rapid boil. Once the water is boiling, shuck corn and immediately add to the pot. Boil 2-6 minutes—longer if you like corn extra-soft.

Grill: Throw unshucked corn on the grill and rotate every few minutes for about 14 minutes, or until corn appears deeply charred all the way around. If desired, carefully pull back corn husks and pull out the silk, then fold the husks back over. Soak the corn in cold water for 15 minutes before grilling; the husks will char and add a smoky flavor, the soaking will prevent them from burning and help the corn steam inside.

Steam: Place a steamer basket in the bottom of a large pot. Fill pot with two inches of cold water, cover, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, shuck corn, add ot the basket and replace lid. Steam about 10 minutes. This method is even better as a one-pot meal - make it a crab and corn boil!

Microwave: Microwave unshucked corn for 2-3 minutes. Add an extra minute for each additional ear. Be careful when you remove the husk and silk—the corn will be hot!

And if you're lucky enough to find farm-fresh corn, enjoy it straight from the husk without cooking it at all!

Toppings: Old bay seasoning, cheese, including grated Parmesan, feta or manchego, or a classic mix of butter and salt. For a flavored butter, mash roughly chopped herbs (basil is my favorite!) with softened butter. And for Mexican-style corn, rub each cob in lime, butter and cojito (Mexican cheese).

Cool Trick:  To avoid the mess of using an entire stick of butter to dress your corn, simply rub a buttered slice of break onto each cob. And voila! You'll have perfectly slathered corn and warm buttered bread, mess free.

Dill Potatoes on the grill!


  • 6-8 large new potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • aluminum foil


Wash potatoes and cut in quarters. Place potato pieces in a resealable container. Mix together remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over potatoes, seal, and allow to marinade for 20-30 minutes. Preheat grill for medium heat. Take potatoes out of bag and place on a long sheet of aluminum foil. Pour enough marinade over potatoes to coat them well. Place another piece of foil on top and crimp edges to create a packet. Make three small holes on the top to allow steam through while cooking. Place potato packet on the grill and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove and serve.

(Another) Red Potato Salad (from allrecipes.com)


  • 3 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1 dill pickle, chopped
  • 1/3 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 dash onion salt
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, eggs, pickle, celery, green onions, and hot sauce. Season with dill, garlic powder, onion salt, salt, and pepper. Pour over the potatoes, and gently toss to coat. Chill at least 3 hours in the refrigerator before serving.


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