The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Jan. 10

Games, at-home workouts and the Harry Potter special make our list this week.

1. Play Wordle


Have you seen them? Those cryptic rows of green, yellow and black squares posted to social media? They’re brags about completing the daily Wordle, a minimalist little web-based word puzzle that’s gone viral in the past couple of weeks. The premise is simple – you just guess a five-letter word, and after each guess you’re told whether each letter is in the solution word, and whether the letter’s position is correct. Refine your guesses (there is some strategy here) to nail the solution in six or fewer tries. Because there’s only one puzzle a day, your morning coffee fix will soon be accompanying another addiction. 

2. Play a (Video) Game


Winter in Wisconsin already means a lot of time at home. Add the requisite quarantine and I expect many of us are reaching peak levels of inside time. My family plays a lot of games; card games, board games and for the kids: video games. I’m usually a hesitant video game participant, but lately I’ve been playing Overcooked with my husband. Overcooked is a cooperative video game, meaning you’re working as a team toward a common goal. You’re playing a chef running around a kitchen chopping, cooking and delivering orders against the clock. The game is fast paced and requires an enormous amount of communication and coordination between players. You’ll be yelling at and high fiving your partner (probably) more than usual. 10/10 do recommend.



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3. Check Out This Cookbook


For me, the year is starting off a little grainy and, um, beany. For Christmas, I was gifted a couple of cookbooks, one of which I dived into immediately. Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes, by Abra Berens, is inspiring me to think differently about how I cook with lentils, barley, oats and rice, as well as less mainstream ingredients like farro, freekeh and crowder peas. So far, I’ve made a lentil and sausage soup with harissa that was simple and soothing. And as I love pancakes of any kind, I can’t wait to try the book’s version made with barley flour, which is also the featured flour in a jam-filled thumbprint cookie I’ve bookmarked as well.

4. Yoga With Adrienne


If it’s one of your New Year’s resolutions was to be a little healthier this year – be it physically or mentally– I have a YouTuber to recommend you. Her name is Adrienne Mishler, and she has a channel called Yoga With Adrienne. Every January, she starts a completely free 30-day yoga program. The idea is that you tune in every day for 30 days in a row to do a yoga session with her from the comfort of your own home (usually between 20-30 minutes long). You don’t need any special gear (outside of comfy clothes). I started last week, which is to say that you don’t have to start on Jan. 1 for the program to be fulfilling. 

5. Watch Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts


It’s been 10 years since I last watched a Harry Potter movie. Longer since I last read one of the books. I was a massive fan of the series as a kid (like pretty much everyone else my age), but I wanted to think that I’d outgrown it. Now I’m a big, serious adult man with sophisticated super mature, dark, subversive cultural opinions. I watch art house cinema and read really long novels with, like, ten page descriptions of sunsets that are metaphors for death. That’s what I thought when I decided I would turn on the new Harry Potter reunion movie on HBOMax this weekend … and I got choked up after about three minutes. Man, that series was a big deal. Especially so for people around my age, who grew up alongside the characters. To see the whole cast now and remember the cultural journey that was with me from 5-years-old to 15 is a remarkable thing. Harry, Ron, and Hermione mapped out the childhood and adolescence of so many kids like me, it’s a remarkable and somewhat mind-blowing thing to even consider. The reunion movie is extremely well-done, with the actors and directors paired off in the Harry Potter sets discussing the experience film by film. Every minute is a delight (and yes, a tear-jerker). More importantly, the reunion helped me realize that you never really outgrow Harry Potter because you don’t outgrow everything the story about – friendship, family, love, heroism and goodness. And so this weekend, instead of cracking open the fifth volume of Karl Ove Knausgård’s My Struggle, I think I’m going to go back to the beginning, The Sorcerer’s Stone, and go on that journey one more time.