It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week we’ll pull together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.
For years now, restaurants like Smashburger have been debunking the myth that you should never press down on a hamburger when you cook it. Indeed, smashing a burger leads to some absolutely delicious results. And guess what? It’s something you can do easily, at home, thanks to the genius tinkerers at Serious Eats, who have crafted a hell of an Ultra Smashed Burger Recipe. The key innovation here? A metal trowel and a wallpaper or bench scraper. The process is simple: take some ground beef, roll it into two 2oz balls, and SMASH those down on a hot griddle with a trowel. Let ’em cook for 45 seconds, then scrape ’em up, flip ’em, put some cheese on one, stack ’em, and put ’em on a prepared bun, and voila — a perfect Smashburger. Note: Because you want to keep all of that yummy fat in your burger, this does not work well on a grill — you’ll need to do it on a griddle. (I like this one.)
LISTEN: Kind of Blue
There’s a reason that — sixty-one years later — this is still considered the greatest jazz record of all time. These tunes are approachable yet experimental, smooth and sexy at points, punchy and loud at others. With the temps heading up, maybe this is a good weekend to sit out on the porch at sunset with a cold beer and Miles Davis on in the background. Or throw him on in the kitchen when you’re making burgers. Or in the in the bedroom, when you’re… yeah. Trust me. There’s never a bad time for Kind of Blue.
Described by Ta-Nehishi Coates (author of last week’s Between the World and Me) as “the greatest single volume work of history [he’s] ever read,” James McPherson’s The Battle Cry of Freedom is considered the definitive historical account of the American Civil War. And — although I am mildly obsessed with Civil War history, and although Battle Cry has been sitting dormant on my kindle, for, oh, five years? — I still haven’t read it. This week, that changes. I’m taking the Kindle (and the dog) up to the mountains on a solo cabin trip, and am excited to finally dig into McPherson.
PLAY: The Witcher 3
Got some time on your hands? Then this is the game for you. Back in the fall of 2015, I ate, slept, and breathed Witcher — I would play every day after work, and log eight hour sessions on weekends, but the game still took me six months to beat. It’s that huge. There are plenty of large, open world games these days — but the two things that really set The Witcher 3 apart are its writing and its quest design. Instead of boring fetch quests, in The Witcher 3, you will meet fascinating characters, be forced to make impossible decisions, and even go on an acid trip in a viking cave. Just be warned: once The Witcher 3 gets its hooks in you, it’ll be all you can think about until you’re done. Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. (The Netflix series is supposed to be pretty fun, too.)
Hot damn, this movie is good. Featuring knockout performances from Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, and most of all, John David Washington (who also stars in the upcoming Christopher Nolan blockbuster Tenet), BlacKkKlansman is a bonkers, rollicking tale of a black detective in the 1970s who manages to go undercover in the KKK. This is a movie that is both riotously funny and absolutely heart wrenching, a film that has as much to say about America in 2020 as it has to say about America in 1973. Streams free on HBO/HBO Max or via Amazon.
About the author: Michael Robin is an LA-based television writer. When he’s not working away on his latest pilot script, you can find him scuba diving, hosting Shabbat dinners, or goofing off with his goldendoodle, Biggie Lebowski.