In a moment of lazy curiosity, I bought a bag of seaweed from a Chinese market. This was back in New York City in the early 90's. It felt exotic to hold a bag of blackness that smelled like Gilligan's Island.

This was pre-internet days, when information was accessed through conversations with experts.  I lived in a studio on 106th and West End Ave (Duke Ellington Blvd), filled mostly with graduate students and the elderly. I was neither. I couldn't think of anyone within knocking distance who knew about seaweed. Maybe it's like rice, I thought.

The bag sat on my kitchen table, while I leafed through the Moosehead cookbook - the only cookbook I owned. No seaweed suggestions. No mention of the sea or of weeds.  I was free to wing it, released from the notion that there was a right way or a wrong way to prepare seaweed that would make it edible.

If you're dying to know the specifics of how I came up with classic Upper Westside 'sWeed dish, email me. This is more about theadventures I had in my mouth, in my kitchen, and in my mind that day. I took some seaweed and went for a ride.

#3 Try cooking with an ingredient you've never cooked with before.  For some of you that may mean practically everything. Awesome! Maybe steer clear in the web. Go for creativity and failure rather than exactness. It's way more engaging for your inner child, as it electrifies the wilderness of that imagination of yours - always waiting to be sparked.

Crush Boredom / Create Happiness.