If you ever needed a reminder of how much good there is in the world -- and these days, who doesn't? -- just cook a Dungeness crab. It is so easy to prepare. The meat is so sweet and tender, and so nearly perfect just as it comes in its original wrapper.

Surely, some greater power must love us mightily to give us anything that delivers such pleasure and demands so little. There is nothing like sharing freshly cooked cracked crab and a great bottle of white wine with your family to remind you of just how fortunate you really are.

But basic, boiled crab is not the only way to enjoy Dungeness. Last year I had dinner at Russell Moore's terrific Camino restaurant in Oakland. Moore specializes in live-fire cooking, and he was offering grilled Dungeness crab that night. To tell the truth, I'd always turned up my snobby little purist's nose at crab grills before, but I tried it anyway -- I can be broad-minded that way when it comes to eating Dungeness crab.

Honestly, at first bite, I wasn't totally loving it; I wasn't used to the sweet flavor of the crab competing with other tastes. But by the time I'd finished half a crab, I was hooked. So I called Moore to find out how he did it. Again, it's almost embarrassingly easy -- you start with cooked cracked crab and marinate it in an herbal mash. Then you grill it, scraping and turning with a big spatula, until the herb mixture and the edges of the shell start to char.

Eating crab grilled this way is a lot like eating Chinese black bean crab: It's messy, and you probably get almost as much flavor from licking your fingers as you do from the crabmeat. But it's irresistibly delicious.

You can vary the flavors according to your whim. For me, the mixture that worked best the last time I tried it was mostly chopped parsley and green onion with a heavy dose of coarsely ground fennel seed.

It tasted like a rainy California winter.