Time spent with the Boy Scouts typically introduces young men to hot dogs — not borscht.
However most of us first encounter the classic beet soup, Thom Cheney, a solo graphic designer in Portland, Ore., had a bit more serendipitous introduction.
Cheney entered our April sweepstakes with a brief tale of “the best thing I ever ate.” Here’s what he wrote:
Hiking in the southern California desert with a friend. He snuck a frozen container of borscht into my pack that his Russian neighbor made. After a long, hot hike, it was incredible and worth the trouble of packing it in!
Cheney and his friend, Bart Forry, had grown up in Riverside, Calif. As Boy Scouts, they had been introduced to the nearby San Gorgonia Wilderness and Whitewater Preserve.
After high school, the two hooked up again, and decided to return to the Pacific Crest Trail where it passes through the Whitewater Canyon. It’s a desert environment. Hot. Dry. Perfect for … cool, refreshing, recently-melted-in-the-backpack borscht.
Cheney recently was reminded of that trip while attending a conference in Palm Desert, Calif. But not enough to return for good. He’s lived in Oregon for 18 years, and likes it just fine. Not so hot. Not so dry. Not so many people.
Congrats, Thom, and thanks for sharing.