I will admit to harboring a soft spot for elaborate things. I get fairly excited about embroidered linens, delicate tea sets, lace, hand hewn wood, and anything that obviously took skill and lots of time to create. On the flip side, simplicity is hard to trump. Raw oysters served on a bed of ice cannot be improved upon. It's the taste of the sea in it's undressed form that makes them so special.
I try and remind myself of this when it comes to cooking. It helps draw a line between preparation and resisting control. Often something is just perfect as is. This time of year, a local, ripe strawberry is a fine example. Enjoying them to their fullest requires little more than a willing bite. Okay, maybe there is room for homemade dark chocolate sauce, just in case you want to dance a bit with your love of simplicity and things seemingly more elaborate. The two go quite well together.
Simple Dark Chocolate Sauce: (from my friend Jane)
*1 cup high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
*1/2 cup raw cane sugar
*1/2 cup boiling water
*1 Tbsp unsalted butter
*1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk all ingredients together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Serve with fresh strawberries or any other seasonal fruit.
Store in a glass jar fitted with a lid. Keep refrigerated, stirring in a small amount of warm water to bring back original consistency.