Food doesn't have to be fancy. In fact, it usually shouldn't be. Mint leaves, white peaches, chioggia beets, Tuscan kale, a hunk of parmigiano--these things are all beautiful on their own and need no adornment.
And sometimes, foods come upon us as a surprise. There is a place on my street where I happened to see two tiny red gems peeking up through the foliage--wild strawberries. Every so often, I will check back and gather a couple more. On Monday, I was thrilled to discover several berries, wet with dew, and I picked all of them. There is delight in holding a handful of these wild red orbs.
And sometimes the delight comes from resurrecting food from a dismal state past its prime. I had a hunk of home-baked bread that was old and had been left out over night. Was was once relatively soft and porous turned into a rock-hard heel. It was too large to crush into breadcrumbs, too hard to cut for croutons. But I developed a trick. Last night, I put the bread in a bag with a touch of milk and let it soak overnight. This morning, I was rewarded with something soft and edible. I soaked the entire piece further in milk and egg and made a hunk of french toast. And these three simple things when fried in oil become sublime.