Eight states are connected by their roadside food and Route 66 in this book, beginning in Illinois and reaching to California. Clark wanted to document not only edible things, but an era--the last 40 years--of westward travel and its ``pioneers.'' And so, the food: chocolate pudding cake, made from cake mix, marshmallows and a few other staples, comes from the long-since-closed Midway Cafe in Cuba, Mo. Gallup Navajo taco chili hails from Gallup, N.M., where an inter-tribal Indian ceremonial is held each year. Readers don't merely make this trip with their spoons. They follow along as the author introduces them to diner cooks and owners, to ghost towns, to others live but small, and to seedy motels with good specials. There's a Mrs. Updegraff, for example, of Vinita, Okla., who was included in a Ripley's Believe It Or Not column in 1933 for baking 66 pies in 45 minutes; or Bob Dowell of Amarillo, Tex., known for his recipe for taco meat. The book is amusing to scan, though the food doesn't all seem savory (``Oklahoma Millionaires,'' for instance, would daunt anyone not in a sugar frenzy). So pick, choose and read. (Dec.)
Clark's cookbook/travelog captures a disappearing part of American culture--the networks of diners and family restaurants, truck stops, and almost-forgotten small towns along old Highway 66. Clark traveled the entire length of the original Route 66, from Chicago to Santa Monica, visiting the eating establishments and tourist attractions still in business and documenting others that are long gone but remain memorable. Clark includes literally hundreds of places here, accompanied by lots of mostly homespun recipes; her well-written and informative text is illustrated by old-time menus, nostalgic postcards and photos, and other such memorabilia. Recommended for travel as well as cookery collections.