Author: anyaspector

A Note on Formatting and Frequency

So, you’ve just finished the first episode of Loaded Literature and are thinking to yourself, “Holy molasses, Batman! I have to wait an entire month for the next episode?” If you just can’t bear to hear us chat some more about your favorite books, fear not! Loaded Literature will be returning next Wednesday at 10 a.m. wherever you get your podcasts!

Between our first recording and our first episode release, a lot has changed here at Loaded Literature. You can find a more detailed account in our blog post accompanying Episode 1, but I’ll lay out the gist of our formatting and frequency here.

We’ll cover a single novel over the course of three weeks with one episode per week. The first week will be an analysis that covers our general thoughts. The second will be devoted to the context of a given novel. This could range from biographical information of the author to a deep dive into the mythology that inspired the subject. The third week will cover adaptations of all types be it movies, TV series, or even literary re-imaginings. And then we repeat!

So, tune in next week as we dig into the Regency Period and Jane Austen’s personal history!

Episode 1: Reflections and an Explanation

Adventures in Podcasting

Ahoy, mateys! Gather round for the tale of our maiden voyage upon the S.S. Loaded Literature!

New endeavors often begin with a walloping dose of enthusiasm. Ideas pollinate the air as the new venture begins and excitement blossoms. All the hard stuff—the real nitty-gritty planning—lies just over the horizon where you can’t see it when a new idea sprouts its pretty, little head in your mind. But, as you’re enthusiastically frolicking through a field of new possibilities, you should keep one eye on that horizon, so you don’t end up tripping over your own feet when you hit the implementation phase of your venture.

We, the lovely ladies of Loaded Literature, know first hand the importance of keeping one eye on the horizon. The idea for this podcast came to us last year. Our first recording attempt occurred in January. You may be wondering: what the hell happened between January and June? To be succinct, we face planted. For some of us, this was a both a metaphorical and a literal faceplant.

We started off strong, though! As we describe in our analysis episode of Pride & Prejudice, the tea party was a hit. The food was great—minus my own cakes—and the drinks were flowing. Probably flowing a little too much.  As we finally sat down (drinks at the ready) to record after a night of nervous eating, we couldn’t do much but giggle. And overthink our format. And then spend almost three hours not talking about the plot of the novel, or the adaptations, or anything more important than Charlotte Lucas. Or that’s as much as I can remember, considering I ended the night on the face down on the floor.

Since that first recording, we ended up totally changing the format of the show, discovered a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a podcast that no one tells you about, and we learned not to pregame before recording (at least not too much). Basically, we found out the hard way that turning your bright new idea into a reality is not as easy as talking about it—whudda thunk? But, we gathered together our remaining chutzpah, and tried again. I’m proud to say that it has been much smoother recording since then.

After our second attempt at recording Pride & Prejudice was a success, we were left with a conundrum: what to do with our first attempt? We had a couple of ideas. Saving it as a bonus episode for a later date. Turning the best bits into a blooper reel. Scrapping it entirely. As we listened though, we found that there were some bits simply too charming and genuine to leave out. So, what’s a gaggle of hags to do? Why, call upon their good friend and co-host Victor-ia “Frankenstein” Grey to scrap the freshest bits together and bring it to life!


So as you’re listening to our very first episode, please don’t be alarmed at any sudden changes in sound quality, jarring topic jumping, or strange misinformation (please read the following post for edits and important information we were unable to shove into the recording last minute!). Don’t listen to the first episode and view it as a bunch of audio clips of drunk women slapped together. Instead, choose to think of it as distilled enthusiasm. The past week has been a wild one for us. Victoria “Rumplstilskin” Grey has been spinning recordings into podcasting gold. Hale has been doing all the heavy lifting clerical work. And I’ve been crying in the shower. We made it over the horizon though and still have enthusiasm to burn.

Following episodes will be better, we promise. And if I am ever allowed to write a blog post again, I promise to work with more cohesive metaphors. Until then, enjoy listening and hop aboard!
— Anya

Episode 1: The Regency Tea Party

Interested in having your own Regency inspired tea party? We got you covered! Recipes for everything we made (so just not the ginger snaps) are listed below plus our own ratings. Pinkies up!

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Oat Bread: 4/5


3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour or Organic Bread Flour
1 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast*
1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk
3/4 cup raisins or currants (optional)


*If you use active dry yeast, dissolve it in the warm milk before combining with the remaining ingredients.
Combine all of the ingredients, mixing to form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until it’s smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rest for 1 hour; it’ll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, and shape it into a log. Place the log in a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s crested 1″ to 2″ over the rim of the pan.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until a digital thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes of baking.
Remove the bread from the oven, wait a couple of minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
Store bread at room temperature, well wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Clotted Cream: 4/5


2 pints heavy cream (not ultrapasteurized)
a heavy casserole dish


Set your oven to 180F.
Pour the cream into the casserole dish. It should come up about 1-3 inches on the side.
Set the dish, uncovered, in the oven and leave undisturbed for 12 hours. Be sure to leave the oven on the whole time. I do this overnight.
Remove the dish from the oven and set to cool. Then cover and refrigerate.
The next morning scoop the thickened cream into a jar or jars, and cover and put back in the refrigerator. You can use the leftover cream for baking..
Spread the clotted cream on freshly baked scones.

Honey Cream Scones: 5/5


2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
3 tablespoons Tate+Lyle® Honey Granules plus more for sprinkling, or sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream plus more for brushing
2 large eggs lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper; set aside.
Sift flour, Tate+Lyle® honey granules, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until largest pieces are the size of small peas.
Using a fork, whisk together the cream and eggs in a large glass measuring cup. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, and pour in cream mixture. Stir lightly with fork just until the dough comes together (do not overmix), and gather into a rough, shaggy ball.
Set the rough ball in the center of the prepared baking sheet and pat it gently into a round about 1 inch thick and 7 inches in diameter.
With a sharp knife or a pastry scraper, cut the round into eight wedges; separate the wedges. Brush the scones with additional heavy cream and sprinkle with additional Tate+Lyle® honey granules. Bake until the scones are deep golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a wedge comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let the scones cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Regent’s Punch: 6/5


*Makes 3 liters of Punch, serving 12 – scale the recipe as necessary
750ml (1 bottle) of champagne or sparkling white substitute
750ml of green tea (we used 18g of our Japan Sencha, for its light and refreshing nature).
325ml of dark rum (1/2 bottle)
325ml of cognac (1/2 bottle)
250ml of orange juice
250ml of pineapple juice
250ml of lemon & lime juice
Up to 12 teaspoons of sugar (depending on how sweet your fruit juice is)
1 sliced Orange, 1 sliced lemon & 1 sliced lime to garnish

Infuse your green tea for 3-4 minutes with 750ml of boiling filtered water. The best time for the sugar to be added to your punch is now, when the tea is still hot.
Add the spirits and fruit juice and mix.
Refrigerate until cold.
Once you are ready to serve, remove the punch bowl from the fridge and add champagne, garnish and ice.

Roast Beef Sandwiches: 4/5

Roast Beef
Red Onions
Arugula and Kale mix
Salt and Pepper
Gorgonzola Cheese


Caramelize onions and add a few drops of balsamic vinegar.
Mix Mayo and Horseradish.
Spread evenly on thinly sliced bread and top with caramelized onions.
Layer with roast beef.
Top with arugula and kale mix, salt and pepper, and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.
Finish with a few drops of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil.
Cut into triangles and serve.

Almond Cupcakes: 3/5


3⁄4 cup butter
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1⁄2 teaspoons almond extract
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 1⁄2 cups flour
1 1⁄4 cups milk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter at medium speed until smooth, add sugar and beat until well.
Add two eggs, beat until smooth.
Dump in the rest of your ingredients (you can whisk the dry ones together in a separate bowl first as way to “quick-sift” them) and beat until nice and smooth.
Fill cupcake liners (or greased tins) 2/3 full, bake until golden brown (about 20 minutes, depending on your oven).
Makes 24 regular size or approx 10 jumbo size.

Earl Grey Frosting


1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 bags Earl Grey tea


Whisk the sugar, egg whites, lemon juice and salt by hand in the bowl of a stand mixer. Empty the tea bags and add the loose tea to the bowl, then set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is hot and the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag, snip the corner and pipe the icing onto the cupcakes.