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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Artist Mollie Douthit–On Food, Paint, Memory And Connection

Artist Mollie Douthit typically paints on small canvases or panels, no larger that 5×7 inches. She is pictured here in her studio at a residency in Vermont. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

“This my opportunity to only talk about those colors, and then somehow, the lusciousness of the frosting, the cakiness of the cake the smoothness of the plastic in that refrigerator–all somehow mingle themselves into that, and that’s exciting to me”

On our show this week, a conversation with artist Mollie Douthit, about her painting practice involving food, kitchen spaces and food’s power to connect us–with the past, and with the people we love. I spoke with her after her artist’s talk at Vermont Studios Center in Johnson, Vermont.

Cake, oil on panel, 7x5in, 2017, by Mollie Douthit. In our interview, Mollie talks about baking a birthday cake for her mom, and then later, painting it. (courtesy of the artist)

Coming off of the holidays, some of us may have spent time with family, returned to the family home perhaps– and among the many things that families can disagree about, it seems food can stir up some deep divisions.

After all, food is tied to culture and identity. Some of us leave home and strike out on new culinary paths, and develop new food preferences, restrictions or even principles about what we will and will not eat.

A place where we may have once come together–the family table–can become fragmented and tense.

Opera Cake, oil on panel, 7x5in, 2018 by Mollie Douthit. In our interview, Mollie talks about the “paintable moment” when she finds someone has placed the butter in the drinking water dispenser. (courtesy of the artist)

Our guest Mollie Douthitt, a painter, returned to her family home after living abroad for years. Many things had changed, including Mollie’s diet. But she’s found ways to continue to connect with her family over food, even if they aren’t always eating the same thing.

And Chef Daniel Orr has a recipe for a delicious salad, that can serve as a-meal-in-tself, featuring wild rice, and feta cheese.

Music on this week’s show:

Vanishing Haze by Emmanuel David Lipszyc, Frank Lapscombes and Sebastien Lipszyc (Killer Tracks)

The Earth Eats’ theme music is composed by Erin Tobey and performed by Erin and Matt Tobey.

Stories On This Episode

Wild Rice Blueberry Salad With Feta And Thai Basil

A satisfying salad like this one can serve as a meal-in-itself.

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Kayte Young

Kayte Young discovered her passion for growing, cooking, foraging and preserving fresh food when she moved to Bloomington in 2007. With a background in construction, architecture, nutrition education and writing, she brings curiosity and a love of storytelling to a show about all things edible. Kayte raises bees, a small family and a yard full of food in Bloomington’s McDoel Gardens neighborhood.

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