Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hand hammered copper couscoussier. Need we say more?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I like this Sheep's face.

This is the Tunis Sheep, an american heritage breed, and this story has it all: historical figures, fame, death, near destruction, redemption, good wool, great milkers...

The Tunis Sheep is a descendant of the Tunisian Fat Tailed Sheep, a breed that exists mainly in Tunisia, but crosses the border into Libya and probably Algeria (see earlier posts on Liya!). But the birth of the Tunis Sheep for us begins with the birth of our country.

George Washington, looking very pastoral as the battle rages on.

In the mid-late 18th century, shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed, George Washington received a small flock of sheep as a gift from the Bey of Tunis. They were placed with Judge Richard Peters of PA, who gave lambs away and made rams available to spread the breed. The Tunis Sheep soon topped the list of Most Popular Breeds in the states.

By the Civil War, the south was flooded with Tunis Sheep. Then it flooded with worn, and hungry soldiers who ate everything in sight. By the end of the war the Tunis Sheep population was almost entirely decimated.

Hungry Civil War folk in fields, and hungry Civil War folk in front of a tent.

The remaining hundred odd pure Tunis Sheep were moved to the Great Lakes after the war and have been successfully bred in Michigan for the past century and a half. Of the four breeders currently producing Tunis Sheep in Michigan, four of them live within 80 miles of Ann Arbor.

These sheep are well loved for their gentle natures, great milk, wonderful wool, and delicately flavored, tender meat. As descendants of a desert breed they love pasture living and are very hardy. I can't wait to build a small herd full of these faces! Just look!
For more info on the Tunis Sheep check out the American Heritage Breeds Conservancy website:

Cocktails; loaves and fishes.

The Dromidaire

Bou Said Gin Fizz

Preserved Lemon Drop

One Happy Fish (Daurade)