Adventure Brown

Im Lew - A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I'm doing it anyway - expect all sorts of randomness.

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There are so many curry books and recipes out there it is so hard to choose. I have tried a lot, some better than others.

Well look no further than the Curry guy. Dan Toombs is the founder of the Curry guy blog has been blogging for a number of years now read About his here.

 

I have followed him for a while and I am a regular reader of his blogs but recently he has brought his own cookbook out on his take on the English Indian takeaway, all of the recipes in his book are his own, recipes he has created by trial and error until he finds the perfect ingredients.

Talking ingredients you need a lot, I’m lucky that I cook a lot at home and I have a cupboard full of spices so I didn’t have to purchase much, but in the book at the very beginning he gives you his recipes to make your own, I haven’t done this but they are there. The best place to buy the ingredients you need is a Indian store, I have one close to my home and I can get everything I need at a reduced price compared to your usual supermarket – But once you have it you should be set for a while (depending how much curry you eat).

His recipes are so easy to follow and the flavour is better than the takeaway in my opinion. It is real home cooking and you can taste all the ingredients in the curry.

The hardest thing but not too hard is to make the base curry sauce, it its just like making a giant soup, but if you make the large batch, it can keep in the freezer and then you have it at the ready for when you decide to have a curry night, I have made a total of 11 curries from this base sauce but not all of his curry’s requires it.

His book is more than just curries, you have sides, breads, tandoori chicken, and the list goes on, there is something in this book for everyone. Sometimes I just make lamb kebabs with naan breads and salad and its brilliant, Again the flavours just explode in your mouth.

My favourite recipes in this book is the Chicken Pasanda and Butter chicken with Onion Bhaji and plain naan. I’ve tried nearly the whole book and I just seem to always refer back to the same recipes.

Like I said before they are easy to make, there is another curry company I use and there onion Bhaji are terrible compared these, the mixture is already bagged up for you ready to make, which is easier yes as all you need to do is add water and onions. But they are very powdery and don’t taste good, I used to think they were ok until I tried the ones from this BOOK. And they are simple – plus they look like the takeaway bhaji.

My favourite part to an Indian takeaway is the naan, scooping up that sauce with the bread and eating it the authentic way. Again I have tried other recipes I found online and could never get them right or they just wouldn’t look or taste the way I was expecting them to. These are simple and you don’t need many ingredients unless your making keema naans or the other flavour naans available. You make the yeast with warm milk and leave it to do its thing then add it to the rest of the ingredients and knead the bead then leave it to rest, I like to make it first thing in the morning and leave it all day, to give it time to rise, I never make the full amount though as there is too much I always half the recipe, it usually makes around 12 naans, Of course I don’t eat 12 or make them all at once.

Earlier I spoke about making Lamb Kebabs, well I make them the day after with the left over dough. See 2 meals in one, nothing goes to waste in my house, not with me around anyway.

 

Over all I would rate this book 10/10 seriously it is amazing. If you follow Dan on twitter and have any questions he is always there to answer questions and is very helpful.

I bought this book full price the day it came out but you can pick it up for £6 now from Amazon, that’s £6, Cheaper than any Curry, even on a Sunday special. And maybe perfect for a Christmas present.

 

Disclosure: This is a total bias review, I have not received any freebies and I wasn’t paid to review this book.

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

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Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Ah that time when you need to start training your child to go the toilet or potty. I don’t think training is the right phrase as it sounds like training your dog…Anyway…

Tips on how best do it can be quite difficult as every child is different but I remember just always having the potty out for my son to look at, play with and familiarise himself with it so it seemed normal to be in the room. He was 1 when he first used the potty and had a handful of number 1 and number 2s on it. But then suddenly stopped and would not use it. We didn’t push and left him be. Yes people may argue that he was too young but it really wasn’t my intention for him to go and sit on it and do anything, that just happened.

My son turned 2 in September 2016 around a year after he first used the potty.

Going to the toilet – you will probably know that this isn’t a peaceful private affair when you have kids as they always want to be with you. What happened to this being a mans thinking time???? So we purchased a kids urinal, now he can tinkle when i tinkle. It made sense as he was trying to stand and wee – seeing dad do it, and thats how kids learn.

 

I have 4 tips that I have used over the past couple of months to help get my son into pants and going to the toilet.

Number 1

My first bit of advice is let them come to the loo with you, not like you have a choice, and tell them what your doing and say things like “daddy is a good boy he’s going to the toilet”. May seem silly but believe me you set the example and this is probably one of the best. (Now my son tells me I’m a good boy when I go)

Number 2

Like I said every child is different but I don’t use a potty, I have gone straight in to using the toilet with a child seat on, My son sees me on the loo so why cant he use it. Makes sense right?? This method took off for me and after a week or so he knows when and how to use the toilet with my help of course.

Number 3

Put those pants on. We went straight from nappies to pants in the space of 2 weeks, and to be honest I was expecting more mistakes but I can count on one hand how many times he has had a mistake, a few times at nursery and couple of times at home. Getting your children used to pants can help and make it easier when you need to rush to the toilet, there isn’t anything worse when you’re fiddling with vests then nappies or pull ups to find its too late and they have done it already.

Number 4

My last tip is take the nappy off when your home, you may find your self cleaning a lot of wee up but getting your kids used having nothing on they will learn to know when they need the toilet rather than doing it in a nappy.

These are my tips, nothing special about them but as I have used them myself and they have worked me. Try them, you may be surprised. Good luck

 

THIS IS HOW NOT TO DO IT 

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

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Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

 

I cried, I was feeling low, I told myself this is it, its time to say goodbye. I can’t take feeling like this anymore. The devil inside kept telling me they would be better without you, you serve no purpose in this life. My head was like a thunderstorm, lots of black clouds, thunder, lightening and the dark thoughts mixed in. My partner said what wrong? I replied “I’m going to kill myself!”

What is depression? Is it being depressed? Do people really know the difference? Living with the stigma attached to such a strong word and meaning. There is an emptiness attached to the word – like your soul just isn’t there.

Imagine living everyday with a serious mental health problem when you have children, Children that need your un-devoted attention every second of the day. Your heart melts every time they shout daddy, when he comes to give you a good morning kiss and cuddles you before bed. But deep inside your devil is telling you, you’re not worth it, planning inside your head what your going to do. The thoughts remove all the important feelings you have and over take your mind and body.

Going back a few years to when my son was born –The most important day of my life. All the dark thoughts just seemed to disappear; I was on the sick at the time for having a breakdown at work. I was living in a dark place before I had to rush to hospital and just like that – GONE, like switching the light on.

 

 

 

 

 

Depression is hard enough when you don’t have children, But when that child is your main focus you need to tell yourself that, easier said than done, When your out and your not feeling 100% but you get the public looking at you, maybe for shouting, or loosing your cool, they don’t know the reasons behind it, in my case depression gives me a short fuse as I find it hard to deal with my emotions and running about after a toddler.

Take yesterday for example, I was at soft play with my son, I lifted him over the fence to let him play. Usually I would go in with him but I felt drained and worthless, I just sat on the chair and watched while other mothers and fathers were playing in the soft play. These are the memories you need to be involved in. I want to be remembered as a fun playful dad that done everything with their son. Not the dad who is grumpy and just sits at the side. I am a fun dad when I am well and I am totally unsure if people were looking at me for sitting and watching,  but maybe that’s me being paranoid.

I grew up without a dad, the only father figure I had was my Grandad and Uncle but its not the same. I want to be there for my son, I want to get better for his sake – He is the most important part of my life now, nothing else matters but him.

Depression whats that?

It came and went, and comes and goes, I enjoy every second of being a father, It tests you at times and you feel like you have no patience left to cope, but he is your soul, your life, your world and you find a way to get through.

2 years on and It has came back with a vengeance. The sunny days were gone and the dark days were to come. It started off as a trickle of thoughts and became a full blown storm of suicidal thoughts, tears and the feeling of uselessness.

No matter what I do to try and get better DEPRESSION will always be there its how you deal with it. Your feeling depressed, believe me  its not the same as depression. Depressed is just a word that everyone uses. But take a second and think what that word really means.

Talking about it is hard for anyone. When I’m in a conversation with someone and they are talking in a such a way, saying certain words I fell like exploding and telling them to choose their words carefully, When I am going through a period like this I am a very explosive person and sometimes I have to fight so hard not to say anything.

I am still here to fight another day and I will continue to fight for my son’s sake.

I will make my son proud of me.

 

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

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Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Pass me that bottle, and a glass, pour and drink – ahhhh, thats better.

Its thats time of year again when the Sloes are beautifully ripe and ready to be picked, well not exactly as they are best when they have had the first frost.

There are people who spoil this – If I was to wait for the first frost all the sloes would be gone, so thats the reason I pick them slightly early, and a good job to as I was in the park the other week and the hedgerows were lathered in them, when I went to actually pick them a few days ago, there were hardly any left, baring in mind there are miles of these in the park I go to.

 

If you were wondering what Sloes are they are berries that grow on a blackthorn bush, they look very much like a blackberry but with a pip in the centre, you kind find them in parks, on country roads and in remote areas. Ive found that the further south of the UK are better for these, I pick them in Yorkshire and Sunderland and the ones in Yorkshire are better in my opinion.

Now the bit you have been waiting for –  The recipe.

Before I give you this recipe I just want to explain the best way to make Sloe Gin. The first year is the hardest, this is the year you need to leave it alone, DO NOT DRINK!!!! well you can if you want but the idea is to make it every year but drink the previous years whilst one is stored away. And the longer you leave it the better, I currently have a 4 year old sloe gin stored away, this was my very first bottle so I keep it for Christmas. My gran always complains about it and says she wants it as gin shouldn’t be left that long – She loves gin.

 

 

Things you need.

1 litre bottle of Gin – I get mine from Aldi

1 litre Kilner jar – bought from Lakeland

450g Sloe berries

 

200g-300g caster sugar

The most important thing when making Sloe Gin is that you need to prick every single berry with a pin. Its time consuming, boring and gives you sore and sticky fingers but it does end with a great benefit.

 

  1. prick all the berries and put into the kilner jar
  2. pour over the sugar, the more you put in the sweeter the gin will be.
  3. pour over the gin

Then close the lid tight and give it a little shake, store in a cool dry place, I usually leave mine in the garage, you need to pay a visit to the bottle – NOT FOR A TIPPLE, but to give it a shake, just once a day for at least 2 weeks or so or until all the sugar has dissolved. then leave it for 3 months if you want to drink it straight away but ideally 6months to a year.

When your ready to drink straining though a muslin cloth or any other straining way you wish, you want to get as much of the bits in as possible.

 

Simple as that, and like I say the first year is hardest get that one out of the way and your good to go.

This drink is ideal for a cold night or Christmas, the family will you if you break this open on Christmas day.

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

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Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Money management is very important, we learn from our parents behaviours and if we constantly think money grows on trees then we will never learn and think it is ok to spend spend spend.

As a child I was always taught by my Grandad to spend half and save half. I think he first opened a post office savings account for me when I was born and it started by saving a £1 a week, when I was old enough to understand what money was the amount of pocket money I got went up to £1.50, I again had to save £1 and I got 50p to spend on some sweeties.

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Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.

Follow:
Adventure Brown

Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.