Making the Most of Your Two Treasured Days

For Christmas this year my little brother got me my very first cookbook:  Katie Brown's Weekends, Making the Most of Two Treasued Days.  I was totally excited.  I am working at my very first post grad school job, and living in my very first solo apartment, with my very first non-family pet so you can imagine how having my very first cookbook to put on my very first bookshelf was quite the momentous occasion.  Of course having that job has caused me to have very little time to sit down and flip through the cookbook let alone try out some of the recipes.  While Katie may have "Two Treasured Days" each week to whip up the 130 Recipes, Projects, and Ideas included in her bible of domesticity I, on the other hand, am lucky to get one day without work and I'm usually so tired that even the thought of doing more than ordering a pizza and watching Six Feet Under reruns in bed all day with my cat leaves me hiding under the covers. 

 So, it was with great surprise and pleasure that I sat down last night to actually spend some time in Katie Brown's world, after she's spent more than a month on my bookshelf.   The first thing I noticed was that she's from Petoskey, which is cool, as I am also from a small Michigan town.  I felt Katie and I were kindred spirits already and I hadn't even hit the table of contents.  The book is dedicated to her Uncle Meredith, her "relative soul mate," who she thanks for always being there and understanding her.  If I dedicated any sort of book to any uncle of mine it would probably say something a little less poetic like, "Thanks for the booze, it always made Christmas more bearable."  But that's neither here nor there.

 The book is really beautiful, full to the brim with ideas for charity work, recipes for moroccan food, tips to get organized, ways to appreciate nature, and of course, a decoration guide for the holidays.   As I read through it I couldn't help but look up at the plain white walls of my apartment and envision them full of fabric covered embroidery hoops.  I could see the perfect place for a refurbished old trunk in which to keep my tissue paper, ribbons, and bows.  The fact that I don't have any tissue paper, ribbons, or bows and that I wrapped my office Secret Santa present in a paper grocery bag wasn't important, I would get these things, and when I did I would put them in a refurbished trunk right next to my new fabric covered cork board covered in pads of sticky notes perfect for To Do lists and reminding myself to buy cat food.  

As I flipped page after page I got more and more sucked into Katie's world.  I wanted buckets full of room specific cleaning supplies, and a map of my neighborhood complete with where the mean dog lives and the house that gives out the best Halloween candy.  I didn't care that I live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow dogs, and in a country that doesn't celebrate Halloween, I wanted to make the map and give it to my new neighbors along with a loaf of freshly made cinnamon bread, even though I only have a toaster oven!  Katie became the woman I want to be: put together, organized, creative, and totally on top of things.  The kind of woman who manages her time so well that she spends Saturday mornings premaking muffin batter and roasting lemon herbed stuffed chickens so she can use them all week, and still has time to go for a nature hike, gather a basketfull of leaves and branches and turn them into an art project.  All before she has her friends over for a homemade Moroccan feast where she wraps her silverware in hand beeded napkin rings and covers her table in home made "Golden Starry Table Tiles."  Forget Wonder Woman, I want to be Katie Brown!

 Then I started looking around my apartment : the unfolded laundry, the dirty dishes, the chair I put on top of a desk so I could reach to change a lightbulb and have left there because my cat has turned it into his thrown.  The fish tank that hasn't seen water or fish for 6 months because, though I thoroughly read every article on, I just couldn't seem to keep a fish alive for more than a week.  My sheets need to be washed.  There are bits of acrylic paint stuck to my dining room table from my last attempt at channeling Monet.  Clearly I am not Katie Brown material. 

The thought stuck with me until it really started to hurt.  It seemed that I was just not cut out for domestic goddessness.  And then I got to thinking.  Who does Katie Brown's dishes after she's done roasting chickens and baking cinnamon bread for her new neighbors?  It couldn't possibly be her, how could she do the dishes and have time for a nature hike?  And what about laundry?  Who is folding Katie Brown's clothes and putting them back into her tissue paper lined drawers?  And what kind of woman has time to go to the fabric store to pick out material for a wall art project?   She's going to need to go to at least 3 different grocery stores to find all the ingredients for her Moroccan feast.  That wouldn't leave much time for cooking the "Cinnamon, Ginger, and Cumin Lamb Stew" let alone hand beading the napkin rings!  Either Katie Brown has some major help, or she's LYING!  

I want you to know Katie Brown, if you're out there, I am in no way challenging your culinary or creative talents.  But by showcasing what you spend your weekends doing, when clearly you have major help during the week to allow for such weekend freedom is just poor form.  I mean come on.   You're making the rest of us 9-5, pizza orderers who don't live in neighborhoods and come home to a cat feel bad.   Maybe your next book could be something more realistic like, "Very Small Projects the Working Woman Can Do On Her Day Off that Won't Break the Bank or Her Back but Will Still Impress the Hell Out of Her Neighborhood (If She Has One)."  


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My time spent with domestic goddess Katie Brown's new book: Katie Brown's Weekends, making the most of your two treasured days.