Open Door Policy
Growing up we had what was known as an “Open Door Policy”. People were always welcome at our house and often stayed for dinner. Depending on how many stayed for dinner, Mom would sometimes whisper “FHB” (family hold back) under her breath but there was always plenty and sometimes even enough for seconds. She had this great pantry complemented by a stocked freezer and would whip up a meal while we stared at an empty refrigerator and said helpful things like: “What’s for dinner?”, “I’m starving!” and “Is it ready yet.” Amazingly she didn’t cancel dinner or beat us off with the saucy covered wooden spoon she wielded.
Having people over for dinner was just the tip of the iceberg for Mom and Dad. They lived out their “Open Door Policy” philosophy by housing eleven foreign exchange students over the years and a few “Up with People” singers. And none of that interfered with the normal drum beat of play dates, bridge group, board meetings and Girl Scouts. Mom hosted all of this. No wonder we only had one car growing up we didn’t need two because everyone came to us!
Of all that activity, having exchange students live with us for months at a time was by far the most impressionable. These kids came to us from Argentina to Korea and everywhere in between. Each one touched our family in countless ways and we still share stories about them when we get together for the holidays. Mom always gets nostalgic and tries to call them on Thanksgiving forgetting that it is just another Thursday in November for them.
To know my Mom is to know that she is not only resourceful in the kitchen but also a fantastic baker. She is always baking desserts and cookies to add to the candy counter. It really is a miracle that we are not contestants on “The Biggest Loser”. Our exchange students on the other hand didn’t fare so well. Their average weight gain during a stint at our house was about twenty pounds. Some gained more, some less but everyone gained weight.
Everyone knows that food is love and we love to eat. My Mom definitely had the recipe right when it came to knowing what we were up to. Her food brought the party to our house and the result was she knew our friends and knew where we were. Now it’s time to preheat my kitchen oven and teach my kids about the “open door policy”.