Lighthouse Letters
By Sharma Krauskopf

This is an article by Sharma Krauskopf from Michigan who fell in love with Scotland - and decided to buy a lighthouse keepers' cottage at Eshaness, a remote location in Shetland, in the far north of Scotland and live there each winter. These pages were previously part of the "Scottish Radiance e-magazine Web site which was created by Sharma.

Food, Glorious Food

One of the challenges of living in two different countries and environments is food. First, I think I must say I am not a fussy eater. You can tell that by looking at me. Except for watermelon, which I am allergic to, I like just about everything that's edible. When we were looking for our lighthouse home and travelling all over the country we were introduced to lots of great Scottish food. It was such fun.

But when I live at the lighthouse for long extended periods of time it becomes a different issue. All of sudden I find myself thinking about pizza or big juicy American hamburger with cheese, bacon and all the trimmings. Both of these are not available on Mainland Shetland. I still am amazed there is not a pizza place in Lerwick. The hamburger I can get is usually deep fried in batter. So I turned to the grocery store because in the frozen food compartment they do have pizza and what are called American hamburger patties. They aren't terrible and I do eat them. A real Saturday night treat at the lighthouse is a pizza for dinner while I watch my favourite TV programs. But, a frozen pizza just does not taste like one at a pizza parlour.

When I am in the States where I can have all the pizza and hamburgers I want, what do I yearn for? Seafood and fresh fish are at the top of the list. In the States I find myself thinking about crab claws, lobster, monk tail and fresh cod. Our US home is a farm in the Midwest so there are no crab claws and monk tails. Frozen cod is available at the grocery and it is okay. Lobster is also available but it is expensive and tastes strong in comparison to what I am use to right out of the sea.

The graphics of the hamburger and lobster are both via Wikimedia Commons.

So one problem with having homes in two countries and extremely different environment is that you dream, long and wish for the food that you couldn't have where you are at that moment. Another even funnier issue shows up when I travel back and forth. I'll bet you can guess. The kind of food I can take with me goes into the suitcase.

The last time I flew from Shetland to the US the x-ray people had great fun with when they saw in my suitcase three bottles of HP brown sauce, four jars of Branston pickle, a big bag of Scottish oats, a variety of herbal teas and a whole bunch of various flavoured crisps. Travelling from the US to Shetland is just as bad. Last time I had many bags of International Gourmet coffee, ground Starbucks coffee, three jars of pickle relish, and bags of Michigan dried cherries. I no longer carry souvenirs I transport food.

I keep thinking that these "food glorious food" problems will lessen but I actually think they are getting worse. The surprising thing is I do not seem to lose any weight from the challenges. Oh, well since I am in the US while I am writing this I am off to make a wonderful juicy American hamburger....

Return to Index of Lighthouse Letters or Index of All Guest Writers

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line