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.
DRY CHAR: Asparagus
One of the many boons of early spring? Bright, fresh, spring vegetables. It’s Asparagus season, people. And one of my favorite ways of cooking asparagus also happens to be one of the easiest: the Dry Char. You snip off the bottom woody ends of the asparagus, heat up a cast-iron skillet real hot, toss the asparagus in there with nothing else — no oil! — and leave ’em there, turning a bit with tongs, until they’re bright green and a bit bendy and have some char marks on a couple sides. Once they’re done, finish in skillet with a little bit of neutral oil (Canola works) and some salt and pepper, toss in the pan, and serve. Serious Eats has a great primer on this technique here; also works amazingly with string beans and other crisp thin veggies.
ATTEND (VIRTUALLY): A Book Festival
For all you bookworms out there, check out the LA Times Festival of Books, happening online this weekend. Featuring free virtual panels on everything from crime fiction, YA fantasy, food, and history, this promises to be a fantastic and fun weekend full of discussions about authorship, craft, and story. Most panels are free, though expect to be encouraged to buy books from local booksellers — or the fantastic platform bookshop.org, which supports local booksellers. Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash.
WATCH: Mare of Easttown
For the first time in a decade, Kate Winslet is back on TV, starting in a new HBO crime drama, Mare of Easttown — and if early reviews are to be trusted, it looks like it’s one of the best things on TV yet in 2021. Winslet stars as a Mare Sheehan, a detective investigating a brutal crime in a small Pennsylvania town while trying to keep her mess-of-a-life together. This looks like a dark, moody crime drama in the vein of The Killing or True Detective, and getting to see Winslet back on the small screen is always a treat. Premieres Sunday on HBO/HBO Max.
LISTEN: Chemtrails Over the Country Club
Lana Del Ray’s last album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, was a masterwork — a record that used pop-laced Laurel Canyon folk to explore our contemporary society through the lens of the past. Chemtrails Over the Country Club, Lana’s latest, is also excellent, full of folk-ballads and Lana’s signature winking wit. A perfect record to put on when you’re sitting outside with a cold drink on a breezy spring evening.
CATCH UP ON: Oscar Movies
Due to Covid, the Oscars are late this year — on April 25th, later than they’ve been in over a decade. This, combined with the fact that almost everything has been released on streaming means that this weekend is a great time to catch up on Oscar movies before the Academy Awards next weekend. There’s a stunning array of nominated films and performances this year, and everything I’ve seen thus far has been wonderful — from Mank, a film about the making of Citizen Kane shot in the same black-and-white style as Citizen Kane, to Aaron Sorkin’s talky, political drama The Trial of the Chicago Seven, there’s something in this year’s Oscar pool for everyone. Photo by Georgia Vagim on Unsplash.