Tunis Sheep

I made quinoa peanut butter cookies one day. They contained no wheat, which meant I could eat them without upsetting my stomach. I thought the cookies were buttery and delicious, so I took some to our daughter, Emily who lives nearby. When I later asked her over the phone how she and her fiancé Alex liked them, she told me, “Mom, we don’t need to eat gluten-free. We can eat regular cookies.” That seemed silly to me. A cookie is a cookie. Then, as if to take the sting out of her rejection, she said, “The sheep liked them though.”

“Wait. What? You fed them to your sheep?” On their farm, Emily and Alex have a small herd of Tunis, an ancient breed of sheep with coppery-brown faces and bodies billowing with creamy wool. I didn’t know sheep ate anything besides grain and hay.

“Yeah,” she said, “they were climbing on top of each other to get them, they liked them so much.” After that, I started calling the cookies “sheep treats.” At least I had some four-legged fans of my baking.            

In February, I went to the farm to see some newborn lambs, which emerge a cinnamon brown color, so adorable. I had a plastic bag in my pocket with some of my homemade sheep treat cookies inside. No matter that it was tightly sealed. As soon as I went through the gate to the hilltop meadow, the ewes stopped nibbling grass, raised their heads, and laser focused on me. It was a little eerie how quickly they clustered around me. My attention was so much on the sweet, new lambs that I forgot I had treats for their mothers. Emily, however, noticed the adult sheep nuzzling my red, wool coat. “Do you have something in your pocket, Mom?”

Barbara at the farm

“Oh, yeah.” When I pulled out the bag and opened it, that’s when I was in the middle of a sheep riot. Bleating and grumbling, a dozen or so woolly clouds bumped into me, begging for a cookie. The sheep in the back climbed onto the plush bodies of the ones in front to get closer to the treats. In their haste and my nervousness, it was difficult to feed the sheep. Emily managed to get a couple cookies in their mouths, but all the treats I offered crumbled at their assault.            

That was a little crazy. Nevertheless, a bad day getting mobbed by sheep is still a pretty good day. Sheep are a treat for me and I’ll keep on making treats for them, my biggest fans. 

Tunis lamb

QUINOA COOKIES, aka, Sheep Treats (from my box of Ancient Harvest quinoa flakes)

Preheat oven to 350 F


Mix: 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar (or a dash of maple syrup), 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup peanut butter.

Add: 3/4 cup quinoa flakes, I cup rice flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix well. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12- 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool for a couple minutes before removing from sheet.

10 thoughts on “SHEEP MOB

    1. BTerao Post author

      You are a treat for me, Abby! Thanks for catching a typo, which goes beyond the expectations of a good neighbor, which you are.

    1. BTerao Post author

      Good suggestion! I will add the recipe right now. I have to give fair warning though that these cookies are on the crumbly side when warm. Let them cool and they firm up a bit.

      1. Dayna Muller

        Hello Barbara, I am a new fan of yours and loved the sheep story! I live on Vashon (no sheep, just horses) and try to eat gluten free. I will give your recipe a try! Looking forward to the book you have coming out!

      2. BTerao Post author

        Dayna, thanks for your delightful message! Yes, try those quinoa cookies, but keep in mind that they are crumbly. Let them cool after baking so they can firm up a bit. How fun that you live on Vashon with horses! I will post an essay on my website (blog) soon that has to do with both horses and Elvis, strangely enough. I hope you like it. Barbara

  1. Betsy Fuchs

    What a fun story to read during this time when we need fun stories. I’m left with a curiousity about how the cookies taste and whether I would devour them just like the sheep. Did you add the recipe. I didn’t see it, but could be my covid-homebound-fog brain missed it. Love to you Barbara. Glad you are still writing, and baking.

  2. BTerao Post author

    Hi, Betsy! Yes, the recipe should show up at the end of the post. I added it as an afterthought, though, so maybe you are reading the original version and there’s no recipe. In that case, you can see it by simply going to my Of the Earth blog, Always good to hear from you, my thoughtful writer friend.

    1. Betsy Fuchs

      Yes there it was at the bottom of your post. Wonderful to be in touch with you. I don’t have the flaked quinoa nor the rice flour but I love peanut butter cookies so I will eventually get those two ingredients and try making these cookies. Not doing much (any) writing during this Covid sequestor but am inching closer to resuming as time at home stretches out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s