||While Carl & Lorena are here, our days fall into an easy pattern. I'm usually the only one up to greet the dawn; they pull themselves out of the tent at a more leisurely rate. I don't think I've ever seen Carl this laid back! We begin to worry about the perhaps permanent woven pattern indenting his back from a severe case of hammockitis, a condition endemic to the beach. His back looks a little like some exotic Tahitian tattoo has been executed in dark pink.
But we usually manage to rouse ourselves enough for a late breakfast. Actually, it is Lorena who gets hungry enough to succumb to the role of cook. The rest of us are prone to saying things like, "I did the dishes yesterday," or "I flagged down the iceman last time."
We have finally figured out why Steve liked us all so much: none of us ever want to cook. "We were just like baby birds, sitting there with our mouths hanging open, and he got to feed us," says Carl.
Pickings have been slim the past eight months!
So Lorena is finally driven by low blood sugar to putting together her rather weird favorite breakfast -- okarah patties, steamed greens and salad. She has discovered that if she gets her early morning -- well, late morning -- first hit of protein without eating any carbs, the proteins are easily digested, and she doesn't get that logy let-down feeling that comes with heavy meals. Whatever, I think, acceding cheerfully. I'll eat just about anything any cook wants to offer up!
Having eased into our day, we usually manage a few activities-- a trip to the boca for bathing, a hike up the Colorados, and, most important, a timely walk down to the restaurants! Early evening finds me asking anxiously, "What about popcorn?"
During my stay with them in Ajijic they conditioned me well, and I went away all but addicted to Carl & Lorena's secret popcorn recipe. For some reason, making popcorn doesn't quite qualify as cooking, and they settle into their easy division of labor without squabbling.
Carl does the popping, with a flourishing of hot pads and spitting of oil, and Lorena is soon up to her elbows in vast vats of popped corn, shaking, sprinkling and tossing a mysterious selection of ingredients by candlelight.
The first time they went into their act, back in Deadwood, when we were taking care of Steve together, I said, "My God, you've made enough for the army and navy!" (A favorite exclamation of my mother's mad Hungarian husband.)
Well, I not only had to eat my words, I managed to eat my own gargantuan bowl down to the rare old maids in the bottom.
So, I keep my mouth shut until I am handed my own private bowl, something on the order of a dish washing basin, and then I whine, "Is this all I get?"
Soon we are happily munching, seated around a small campfire of driftwood. I am determined to wheedle the recipe out of Lorena. All's I have to promise is to do the next ten loads of dishes, type their next manuscript and leave them Xuxa in my will. I don't know what it would have cost me if I'd told them I was going to put it on the internet!
Lorena & Carl's Secret Popcorn Recipe