Monika Spykerman, The Columbian

Monika Spykerman

The Columbian

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Past articles by Monika:

Mushroom Magic: Poppers are as delicious as they are ridiculously easy to make

My good friend Angela Heaston’s son Levi is a senior at Camas High School this year, which means that in addition to all the other things he’s got to do in order to graduate, he’s also busily at work → Read More

Homemade tomato soup, cheesy cheddar toast feels like home

Whenever I was sick as a girl, my mother made me Campbell’s tomato soup. She’d set up a TV table in the family room next to the couch, where, home from school for the day, I’d be snuggled up on the co → Read More

Try This: ‘Buffalo Soldiers’; Portland Jazz; Paul Anka at ilani

Where honor is due Friends of Fort Vancouver and the National Park Service present “Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts.” See the movie and meet director Dru Holley 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver. Admission is free but guests must register at After the Civil War, Buffalo Soldiers served throughout the… → Read More

Oh-so-pleasing pitas delightful either sweet or savory

I made a big batch of healthy hummus last week and bought a bag of mini-pitas to go with the dip. The delicious hummus was gone in a few days, but we didn’t end up eating most of the cute little pitas → Read More

Try This: Black history; VSO concert; ‘Xanadu’; Sportsmen’s show; ‘A Mighty Span’

Five things to do this week: History highlights See the free “Black History Highlights of Southwest Washington” exhibit at Clark College, on display this month at Gaiser Hall, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. The Vancouver NAACP chapter, Clark College and Clark County Historical Museum present this panel exhibit created by historian and artist Claudia Starr Carter, who died in April 2022. The… → Read More

Art at the Cave Gallery seeks submissions for April show in Vancouver

Art at the Cave, 108 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, invites artists to contribute works to its upcoming show, “Greenbelt and Crystal Clear Water,” April 1-29. The exhibit is a fundraiser for the Water → Read More

Try This: Farce; romantic dinners; Valentine’s ball; stand-up comics; for the birds

Comedy of errors Magenta Theater, 1108 Main St., Vancouver, presents the Olivier Award-winning farce, “The Play That Goes Wrong.” Part Monty Python, part Sherlock Holmes, this 1920s whodunit follows the Cornley University Drama Society’s production, “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” The cast includes an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead and actors who trip over everything… → Read More

Fashion fit for all: Vancouver event celebrates Black culture with clothes made by local designers

Clothes are a visual language, a type of storytelling that uses style, color and fabric instead of words. Imara Muraty and Ruby N. Lewis, along with local designers, models and volunteers, will share → Read More

Try This: ‘Chkalov’s Transpolar Flight’; ‘Bowls and Books’; First Friday Art Walk

Wings of history Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St., Vancouver, will launch its 2023 Speaker Series at 7 tonight with Columbia River High School student Luke Hildreth’s in-person presentation, “Chkalov’s Transpolar Flight: Exploring its Significance in the Soviet Union and America.” Doors open at 5 p.m. Admission is $5. Seniors and students are $4. Children younger than 18 are $3. The… → Read More

Wonton Celebration: Delicious dumplings are fun to make

To celebrate Lunar New Year, our family went to Uwajimaya Asian Market in Beaverton, Ore. We bought tea, mochi, matcha pudding and warm char siu bao (steamed buns filled with barbecued pork). We also → Read More

Try This: Clark College Jazz Festival, Tet Festival, ‘Short Sound Stories’

Jazzy jams Clark College hosts the 59th Annual Clark College Jazz Festival today through Saturday with three days of big band jazz in the Gaiser Student Center, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Admission is $5 per day. Clark College students and children younger than 12 with an adult are free. Sixty middle and high school jazz ensembles from Washington and Oregon will perform with trophies… → Read More

Citrus gives Bundt cake zing

I have a note tacked up next to my desk that says, “Go all in. The joy is the thing.” I suppose that’s a colloquial paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 9:10: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all you → Read More

Milk It: Brewing tea and herbs in milk is a global favorite

At dinner with friends last weekend, the conversation veered toward New Year’s resolutions. The hostess revealed that “drink more tea” was on her list for 2023. It’s such a lovely aspiration, far bett → Read More

Try This: Comedy and Science on Tap; Day of Service

Five things to do this week. → Read More

Reader shares memories, Finnish Coffee Bread recipe from ‘Grandma Hockinson’

Gerda J. Mattson knew how to bake. Born in 1900 in Kronoby, Finland, she later emigrated to the United States in 1906, catching sight of the Statue of Liberty rising out of the mists on Ellis Island. → Read More

Try This: Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra, Poetry Moves, First Friday Open Music Night

Cut a rug The Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra performs at 7 p.m. on the first Friday of each month at the Providence Academy Ballroom, 400 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, in conjunction with downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Art Walk. Tickets are $10 at The ensemble recreates the sounds of jazz bands of the 1920s and ’30s. Sammuel Murry-Hawkins will lead the… → Read More

Biscuits that take the cake

Around Christmas, we usually take a trip to the coast because I have an unreasonable love for stormy skies, thundering waves and misty Northwest beaches. We could go anywhere, but when Christmas bells → Read More

Try This: Jam session, Pittock Mansion, Straight No Chaser

Strings and things Kennedy Violins, 17720 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Suite 160, hosts a monthly jam session with musician and teacher Agyei Marshall from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the last Friday of each month. Anyone is welcome to bring a stringed instrument and join the jam session. Marshall will bring sheet music to share and participants can follow along. This is a free event and is open to the public,… → Read More

Try this: Festival Brass Band, Geeks Who Drink, Jantzen Beach Carousel

Classy brass Soak in the spirit of the season 6-8 p.m. today at Northwood Public House and Brewery, 1401 N.E. Rasmussen Blvd., with a live performance by The Festival Brass Band. Hear favorite Christmas melodies performed on trumpet, tuba, trombone, double French horn, flugelhorn and euphonium. There’s no cover charge and all ages are welcome, but reservations at the restaurant are highly… → Read More

Festive fried feta with cheer up your cheese-board game

By golly, I do love a cheese board. The holidays offer ample opportunities to amp up your cheese-board game, so to speak, and do something beyond the usual cheese ball (though I will happily help to demolish a cheese ball, especially if it’s coated in almonds). → Read More