Winter 2023 Issue: Recipes at Play

We are currently accepting pitches for contributions to our Winter 2023 series on the theme ‘Recipes at Play’. 
We generally think of recipes as mundane and utilitarian texts: useful know-how, which takes the form of a list of ingredients and instructions.In this series we examine another side of the recipe book genre, exploring recipes and recipe writing as forms of art, satire, and self-expression, with links to pleasure, humour, diversion, creativity, imaginative literature, myths and legends.Recipes were collected from many sources, and sit alongside devotional writing, romances and poetry in household manuscripts.Some recipes give instructions on how to make elaborate culinary displays to impress guests, which would have required a high degree of time, skill and energy to make.Others are included to amuse the reader, referring to matters of politics or social interaction.Collections often contain recipes that were impossible, or unlikely, to have been attempted because the ingredients are mythical, rare or taboo.Recipes dealing with everyday ailments are juxtaposed with marvellous ‘secrets’ that promise to make a person invisible or to speed up time.Scholars have pondered the reason for the inclusion of such impractical and outlandish material –were they valued for the social status that came with being able to converse around these subjects? Was it pleasurable for the reader to imagine themselves in transgressive acts or in possession of expensive ingredients? 
We are looking for original research topics as well as those on pedagogy and archival collections.  We welcome contributions from researchers, archivists, teachers, and those with professional background in recipes.Please send a brief pitch (2 or 3-sentences) as well as an abbreviated CV to the series editors Elizabeth Hunter ( and Ryan Kashanipour ( by December 15, 2022. We are particularly interested in works that include visual images (copyright-cleared images, of course) and innovative approaches to the theme. Accepted proposals will then be invited to join the quarterly volume on ‘Recipes at Play’. For full instructions, please see our Open Call for Contributors.
Examples of Potential Topics (not exhaustive):
  • Satirical recipes
  • Cooking for display
  • Creativity and self-expression in manuscript recipe collections
  • Rhetorical and literary devices in recipes
  • The mythical or the fantastical in recipe collections
  • Teaching recipes as part of the study of literature (any language)–methods and/or a class exercise
  • Spotlight on a collection or archive

Food, Magic, Art, Science, and Medicine

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