Book Bites: Tide of Shadows by Aidan Moher

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Book Bites is Cooking the Books‘ more easygoing sibling. Authors talk about their book and share a recipe, all in one tasty bite.

We’re so glad to have the charming, Hugo-award-winning editor of A Dribble of Ink, Aidan Moher here to talk about his new collection of short stories, Tide of Shadows and Other Stories. The collection of tales, which takes readers from star-faring military science fiction to the dragon-infested kingdom of Copperkettle Vale, debuts today!

(also since we were feeling generous, we let Aidan keep those extra ‘u’s in ‘flavour’ and ‘humour’.)

Book Bites with Aidan Moher

My short story collection, Tide of Shadows and Other Stories, is a lot of fun, but there isn’t a story in there that has a better sense of humour than “Of Parnassus and Princes, Damsels and Dragons”! It’s a subversive retelling of the traditional knight-in-shining armour “saving” a princess from a “dastardly” dragon—only, there’s an awkward love triangle, the hero’s not really who you expect it to be, and the villain… well, just read it to find out.

“Of Parnassus and Princes, Damsels and Dragons” takes place in a fairtale land—from the rolling hills in the Kingdom of Copperkettle Valley to the steep mountains of Flowerdumpling Peak. When I got copyedits of my collection from my editor, he noted my spelling of “Flowerdumpling,” confirming that I didn’t, in fact, mean “Flourdumpling.” “Flowerdumpling” was sort of nonsensical, but also ties back around to the story’s plot, and, let’s be honest, the entirety of the world building in the story is absurd and humourous, so, I went with it.

Today, in celebration of Flowerdumpling Peak, I’m sharing Baking Bird’s recipe for Lavender Lemon Dumplings from The Savory—the ubiquitous flower dumpling. It’s a delicious and fresh combination of flavours!

Baking Bird’s Lavender Lemon Dumplings

Serves 4-5 people, making approximately 50-60 dumplings

For the dumplings:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour divided in half
  • 1 medium egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus more for garnish

For lavender butter:

  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 tablespoon lavender sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Prepare the dumplings:

Fill a medium-sized pot with two quarts of lightly salted water, and bring it to a gentle boil.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta and egg, then add half the flour. Mix it with a spoon to form a ball, then add the lemon zest and lavender. Add flour as needed until the dough is sticky but not wet. The more moisture in the ricotta, the more flour you’ll need.

Move the dough ball onto a lightly-floured surface. Cut it in half. With the palms of your hands, roll it gently into two ½” thick ropes. Then, with a small knife, cutting at an angle, slice the ropes of dough into ½” pieces. Depending on how much flour you used, and how big you cut the pieces, you should get about 50 dumplings.

Place the dumplings in the boiling water and cook until they’re floating (it should take about 10 minutes.)

Prepare the lavender butter:

As the dumplings are cooking, melt some butter in a small pan with lavender sugar, dried lavender, and lemon rind. Cook for a few minutes, but be careful, it burns easily.

Serve:

Serve the dumplings immediately in small bowls topped with the lavender butter, garnished with lemon zest and/or fresh lavender petals.

Enjoy!


aidanAidan Moher is the Hugo Award-winning editor of A Dribble of Ink, and author of Tide of Shadows and Other Stories, a collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories. He lives on an island in British Columbia with his wife and daughter.  You can visit him at A Dribble of Ink and on twitter.

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