The chefs on Sunday were, left to right, Marion Kolesnikoff, Donna Semenoff, Vicky Horkoff, Sandra Cheverie, Katya Hibak, Kolina Malloff and Tres Dergousoff.

Hundreds dine at borshch lunch in Grand Forks

One satisfied diner admitted to downing five bowls of borshch

From the moment you opened your car door at the USCC Hall on Sunday you could smell it – that aroma so distinctive of comfort cooking in the Sunshine Valley.

In the basement of the hall, volunteers loaded, served, cleared and reset more than 250 diners over the course of a couple hours for the USCC Ladies Organization’s annual Traditional Borshch and Pie Luncheon.

Among the volunteers, Donna Semenoff’s red scarf could be seen dipping in and out of the kitchen to survey the chatter (or lack thereof, when diners received their borshch).

Semenoff, along with more than 40 individuals who hailed from everywhere from Castlegar to Vancouver, spent the previous week chopping, stirring, blending, rolling and zipping around the community hall’s kitchen. Their work left their diners full on Sunday. One visitor, thanking the volunteers on his way out, admitted to downing five helpings of the bottomless borshch.

Organizers said they had learned the lesson after vats ran dry last year, leaving volunteers with no post-rush lunch for themselves. The volumes were adjusted this year, as were the number of pies, to make sure that everyone in attendance got a bowl and a slice.


Darwin Benson musters a laugh after filling up on borshch.

Helen Horkoff, left, gets set to dig in beside Hannah Semenoff, centre, and Abby Semenoff, right.

One young diner is determined to get every last crumb of his piece of pie. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Nathan Cochran, centre, serves Brandon Cochran a bowl of borshch.

Linda and Beth Novokshonoff welcomed diners to the USCC Hall on Sunday, along with Lorraine Gevatkoff (not pictured).

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