Bits 'n' Pieces: Woman’s chicken recipe earns new honor

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The Foster Farms chicken recipe contest might be over, but Rebecca Spence’s winning recipe is far from done.

In fact it will soon be showcased in a new venue.

Spence of Vancouver won the $10,000 prize and a year’s worth of chicken for her Crispy Orange Chicken with Fennel, Avocado and Orange Salad recipe.

When Mark Matthias, the Vancouver owner of Beaches Restaurant, heard about the win, he decided to get in touch with Spence to see if he could offer the dish to the public at his restaurant.

“We’d been reading about it in the paper and thought we’d love to highlight her recipe here — she’s just the nicest lady,” Matthias said.

Spence and Matthias planned to meet Friday so she could give final approval and tell chefs at the restaurant if they cooked it correctly.

“She’s very detailed, and we want her to give the final thumbs up,” Matthias said. “We’ll try to use all the ingredients just as they’re specified in the recipe.”

Beaches, at 1919 S.E. Columbia River Drive, will offer the dish as a special from Oct. 23 through Nov. 1, he said.

“It’s a pretty intriguing dish,” Matthias said. “Who knows, she might even get her name on our menu permanently.”

Work with ceramics leads to art career

Robin Hominiuk just wasn’t satisfied when her mother used to bring her to paint your own ceramics stores as a kid.

The 50-year-old Ridgefield pottery artist wanted to do more than just paint, she said.

“I wanted to start from scratch, by using my own clay,” Hominiuk said.

In her more than 20 years as a professional artist, Hominiuk has created sculpture, pottery and even her own jewelry.

Possibly her favorite medium, though, is wood-fire pottery, made through an ancient Japanese technique using huge kilns. Pots in the kilns are fired for between 70 and 120 hours.

“Each pot is one of a kind because of the markings from the ashes and the flame,” she said.

Hominiuk’s work will be showcased through Oct. 29 at the Alcove Art Gallery at 328 Pioneer St. in Ridgefield.

The pottery has a natural feel and is fully functional as cookware, even in a microwave oven, she said, adding that she uses it for all of her dishes at home.

“It’s an involved process,” Hominiuk said. “You need a group of potters to make them, because you can’t tend the fire by yourself for that long. There’s a real sense of community that goes into it. Eating and cooking with it has a good feeling, an organic feeling.”

Visit http://www.alcoveartgallery.com for information.

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. If you have a story you’d like to share, call Courtney Sherwood, 360-735-4561, or email features@columbian.com.<I>