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Do you hide your stash from company?

free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 19, 2007 03:18 PM

I think I have finally gone totally loopy. As I was straightening up my pantry in anticipation for an upcoming party I found myself making a small box to hide away for just the food stuffs I 'd rather not like others see some of the things I eat (Pepper Pot soup, sweetened flaked coconut, jello etc.) It's not horrid stuff but a 3 year old will be visiting along with a couple of very health conscious friends. Does anyone else do this or am I truly nuts?

  1. g
    gryphonskeeper Oct 19, 2007 03:31 PM

    Ok, first off let me tell you I thought you meant something totally different! lol I thought you meant things you were not willing to share (Like my 40 yr old Scotch and my Stoli Elite...)

    When I have friends come over they know immediately that I have a fully stocked bar, I however put the stuff I would not be as tempted to share in the basement.

    13 Replies
    1. re: gryphonskeeper
      ccbweb Oct 19, 2007 03:53 PM

      I'm right there with you gryphonskeeper...I hide my scotch that I brought back from Edinburgh and the cognac my grandfather gave me for my 30th birthday.

      I can't recall having hidden anything in the kitchen for any reason, though. I'm not sure it's all the way to completely nuts...just a little nuts. And a little nuts is usually fun.

      1. re: ccbweb
        rednyellow Oct 19, 2007 04:19 PM

        I don't have anything I wouldn't share with friends, most things are better with friends, and I don't have friends that would touch the "good stuff" w/o asking. However....If I had a party or something and I didn't know who was coming over, which I can't see happening, I'd probably hide the Triomphe

        1. re: rednyellow
          ccbweb Oct 19, 2007 04:23 PM

          Oh, close friends, I'll keep it out and if it's appropriate, absolutely share. But we have a pretty open door policy and get company that I like very well but wouldn't necessarily share the rare stuff with. I'm not going to make them drink swill though.

          1. re: ccbweb
            rednyellow Oct 19, 2007 04:25 PM

            I live alone, pretty close circle of visitors here.

            1. re: rednyellow
              ccbweb Oct 19, 2007 04:27 PM

              Both my wife and I are PhD students...we get a lot of people we only know peripherally. I get where you're coming from though, and did the same when I lived solo.

              1. re: ccbweb
                f
                fara Oct 23, 2007 08:07 PM

                ahah, ccb, that explains why you're always looking up nutrition info. talk about piled higher and deeper (me too.)

                1. re: fara
                  ccbweb Oct 26, 2007 10:00 PM

                  Oh yeah...high, deep, wide, sinking quickly....
                  good comic strip, too.

        2. re: ccbweb
          g
          gryphonskeeper Oct 20, 2007 02:54 PM

          That is exactly what I mean, I had a "friend of a friend" come over (I invited friend, she brought her friend unbeknownst to me beforehand. This said person found my grandfathers 40 yr old scotch, and helped himself to it... very liberally I should add. Since that day, I have hidden most of the higher end alcohol, and things that are .irreplaceable Sorry but there is not a soul on earth I like enough to give the scotch my grandfather left behind to...

          1. re: ccbweb
            southernitalian Oct 22, 2007 03:18 PM

            Ditto with the Scotch. I have a few single malts that I keep for my dad when he visits. I have to hide them or my father-in-law sloshes them down with ice and ginger ale. Gee, thanks. I have been known to hide candy from my kids!

            1. re: ccbweb
              Gio Oct 22, 2007 06:37 PM

              "A little nuts is usually fun." And it keeps one from going insane which is what I almost did after a party and noticed that a precious bottle of Evan Williams 23 Year Old Bourbon was bone dry after everyone had left. I could have killed that night...
              The bottle had been left in full sight on the bar while I was busy being perfect hostess, and of course people thought it was OK to drink. Man, did I learn a lesson that night. I only hoped the people who drank it enjoyed it.

              1. re: ccbweb
                LulusMom Oct 31, 2007 11:26 AM

                There are *some* people we hide the really good booze from, mostly because they'd be more excited by the labels than by the actual flavors, and we'd feel like the stuff hadn't been fully appreciated and had gone to waste. But for most of the people we'd have over, we're happy to share. But we've definitely stashed bottles in the closet! I'm glad to hear we're not alone.

              2. re: gryphonskeeper
                k
                Kagey Nov 1, 2007 04:06 AM

                That's just what I thought. We have one friend that will drink every drop of alcohol in the house when he's in a certain kind of mood. So I hide the stuff that I'd like to keep a little longer when he comes over.

                Another friend will stay over and cook canned tomatoes for breakfast. He just dumps about three cans in a pot and reduces them to mush. No seasoning, nothing. So sometimes I hide the good tomatoes I got in Italy and buy him a few cans of decent tomatoes at the supermarket. I'm happy that he's comfortable enough to go through my cabinets and make what he likes, and I'm happy to cook him spaghetti with the good tomatoes, but I can't have him scarfing all my best tomatoes for breakfast in one sitting!

                1. re: gryphonskeeper
                  z
                  zin1953 Nov 19, 2007 06:29 AM

                  Agreed.

                2. s
                  Shayna Madel Oct 19, 2007 03:39 PM

                  I don't and I wouldn't. I might get the "snappy comeback" ready, but you gotta know your company if you are going to go that route.

                  The only thing I would probably think about doing with kids coming would be to not leave any "junk food" visible, so the kids aren't tempted and don't pester the adults. I figure that friends/family know by now that I am all grown up, can make my own (wise or unwise) decisions on food, and can live (okay, or die) with the consequences of my decisions. That said, I would probably make sure that my fridge is stocked with fresh produce and keep some juices around so there are some non-poisonous snacks available, and I suppose that if I were cooking, Southern fried chicken, with mac & cheese and brownies a la mode were not being served for dinner.

                  By the way, I don't think you're nuts. I am sure you are just trying to avoid a confrontation, but if that's what you're trying to do, it sounds like your soon-to-be guests are kinda nervy.

                  1. cayjohan Oct 19, 2007 03:42 PM

                    May I say, in the best possible way, that you are truly nuts? :-)

                    I am too, you see.

                    The only thing I hide away out of sight when I have certain relatives visit is my array of saffrons. (Well, and the more than decent wines that I am saving for a special night with the Hub.) I know I would get roped into making some over-the-top saffron dish were this stash discovered. And it would be, since these relatives are snoops. My question to you (and myself, truth be told) is why are these party guest digging in your pantry!

                    Here's a trick that I always used in the bathroom medicine cabinet whenever I had a large party: I stuck up a sign (inside the door, on the shelves) saying that if the guest needed first-aid, see us; morever, if they needed to know what meds we were taking or birth control we were using, we would be happy to answer their questions. Maybe you can put up a sort of de facto "no-snooping sign" in your pantry for the party. Mine always got a big laugh, even though the snoopers were busting themselves. Your Jello and coconut would be safe, or at least the genesis of a good joke!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cayjohan
                      s
                      Shayna Madel Oct 19, 2007 04:09 PM

                      Oh, I misread the OP. Thought these people were coming for the weekend. I would hide nothing, but I can understand hiding $$$ liquor. These people are coming for a party. They should not be snooping in your cabinets, but I suppose it's entirely possible that they might open a cabinet looking for a plate or a glass or something and fall upon your "stash." I guess I would still make sure to have some "healthy" alternatives to offer but if it's a large gathering, that one group would not dictate the menu.

                      If they are of the type that would pass comment/judgment on the things you have in your cabinet, you might want to try this on them for the medicine cabinet. Put some marbles in there. You will hear a racket when they snoop and they will be suitably embarrassed, though would probably claim they were just looking for aspirin or a band-aid.

                    2. Chew on That Oct 19, 2007 04:15 PM

                      It depends what it is. But I could see myself doing that too, so not to worry!

                      1. Olivia Oct 19, 2007 04:41 PM

                        Depending on the company, yes, but not out of food shame, more what the others were saying, where you hide pricey booze.

                        I never used to, until one evening when my husband's loser friend started hammering back some very special and expensive scotch my sister gave me because, hey, he wasn't paying for it. He must have swilled at least half the bottle!

                        So now when we have parties where I know people are just going to get totalled I do hide the good stuff, because what`s the point if they`re just going to puke it all up later?

                        1. sailormouth Oct 19, 2007 08:14 PM

                          You can put dryer sheets in a paper towel tube and, oh wait, nevermind.

                          Pricey liquor and if my dad is visiting anything that seems extra extravagant that we won't be eating that night. Not so much hidden as out of the way.

                          I proudly display the cans of baked beans, but move the Bisquick to a spot akin to my bedside dresser.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sailormouth
                            Cheflambo Oct 21, 2007 08:55 AM

                            I don't hide anything unless my mom is coming over -- she's VERY nosey, and will open any cabinet, any drawer, to satisfy her curiosity. And there's lots for her to discover in the pantry. "Oh! what do you do with this?" is the usual querie, followed by "its not in tonight's dinner, is it?" I also hear "why do you have so much _____?" or "Wow ... look at all the liquor!" or she'll start sorting through the cans and boxes saying "Im just looking for your (something she knows I don't keep around)". This is the same person who will go into my closet and pull something out and said "do you ever wear this?"

                            My condolences to those whose liquor cabinets were pillaged by the great unwashed swill-seekers, especially those who help themselves to the good stuff with no remorse. THOSE guests would NEVER be invited back.

                            1. re: sailormouth
                              Put a Sake in it Oct 22, 2007 04:36 PM

                              Ha! literally laughed out loud, sailormouth.

                              My uncle used to own bagel stores, and sometimes we would buy bagels somewhere else , just because he didnt make the variety we were buying. Whenever he came over, we would hide those bagels.

                            2. j
                              janeh Oct 21, 2007 09:39 AM

                              I was in awe when I learned that my sister in law bakes holiday cookies early, wraps them in plastic wrap and butcher paper, then labels the package "FISH" before freezing. Snoops have been detered by this for years!

                              1. p
                                Pampatz Oct 21, 2007 10:08 AM

                                Since we retired and moved to central Mexico, our "goodies" are imported. We are 800 miles from the nearest border crossing. We can't get things like Crisco, baked beans, green chilies or Bisquick in our area. Yes, I hide them. I also hoard my dried herbs and spices. I actually had a "friend" looking for "American food" in my pantry to take home with her.

                                1. s
                                  suziegoeshome Oct 21, 2007 03:43 PM

                                  Well, when my ardent vegetarian cousin visits for the weekend, I do put the chicken and beef soups/broths at the back of the cupboards behind the vegetarian options. She knows I'm a carnivore, but it seems a matter of politeness to her sensitivities (disgust) with meat.

                                  On the other topic of hiding foods from cupboard surfing guests, I have learned that the more hospitable and open-cupboard minded I am, the more friends will adopt habits that they would Never do at someone else's house. I love healthy eating and love my discount organic store where I can buy things to try that I could never justify buying at full price. Well, my friends have been influenced toward healthier eating by many nights over for dinner at my house, trying things they've never had. But it came to the point where if I did not make a full dinner, one or two friends would go to my cupboards and pull things out from the very back and say "Hey! Can we have these?" Which, since I couldn't say no in the moment, led to a regular habit of cupboard invasion. Worse, one in particular would take the package of whatever and eat it all himself and not share with other guests unless I specified, before it was all gone, "Would you pass that around to everyone?"

                                  So, yes, they drove me to not only hiding novelty foods in the back of the pantry (in the hallway behind the bin of dog food) but stocking my house with fewer novelties because it was no longer a special treat...they came to expect it and were eating me out of house and home.

                                  Just moved to a new city, where my neices and nephews live. Bet I will have to adopt the same back-of-pantry locale for my experimental organic and gourmet foods.

                                  Here's to food hiders everywhere.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: suziegoeshome
                                    ccbweb Oct 21, 2007 03:47 PM

                                    The stories I hear on this site. I completely believe you but simply cannot imagine going into someone's home for a meal and looking in their pantry and saying "can I have this?" Who is raising people?

                                    1. re: ccbweb
                                      SweetPea914 Oct 27, 2007 05:58 AM

                                      Oh, my gosh, I totally agree. I probably have the most open door/cupboard policy of any hostess I know. No one has ever gone through my cupboards and asked to open anything!
                                      And I can't imagine doing that at anyone's house...with the exception of maybe my Mom's.

                                      1. re: SweetPea914
                                        ccbweb Oct 27, 2007 10:23 AM

                                        I was pondering whether I would do that at my Mom's place. There's zero chance at all that I would before dinner. If I were hanging around for a while after dinner (and because of the driving distance between us, if I'm there for dinner, I'm usually spending the night) and I was hungry, I'd definitely poke around in the cabinets and help myself to whatever. As you note: can't imagine doing it anywhere else.

                                      2. re: ccbweb
                                        m
                                        MysticYoYo Nov 19, 2007 11:33 PM

                                        I remember a friend of mine who had a German roommate at university who was agog at how people in America just dive into their friend's fridges. He was very polite and formal and was just APPALLED at this "phenomenon". (I guess he would have been prepared if he had ever watched an episode of "Friends")

                                      3. re: suziegoeshome
                                        p
                                        piccola Oct 21, 2007 08:07 PM

                                        While I'm touched that you would go that far to accommodate a veg friend, I'm pretty sure it's not necessary, esp. if she knows you're an omnivore. I mean, she sees that stuff at the grocery store, after all.

                                        There are enough people who will make weird demands, you shouldn't create some for yourself. No need for self-censorship - if she's a good friend, she'll understand that you don't reorganize your life (or your cupboards) for her.

                                        1. re: suziegoeshome
                                          cayjohan Oct 22, 2007 04:09 PM

                                          I was mostly amused by this thread at first, but all the tales of cupboard/liquor cabinet surfing have me thinking a little harder on this topic. My snooping relatives may demand a dish made for them if they find the fixings in my cupboard, but friends asking for the food? At first I was (as they say) *aghast*. Then I realized I have the same scenario. I have a lot of friends and family that live "outstate" as we say, and when they are guests, don't necessarily snoop, but in the cooking/serving/whatever process, spot one of my "urban" acquisitions. Result is the same as your post: "Can I have this?" with the added "I can't get it where I live and you can." I usually capitulate (not without offering to take aforementioned visitor to an "urban" store - offer usually declined), but I start to resent having my pantry depleted because of excited guests. I may start "hiding" things a little more carefully in the future, as, as ccbweb says, "who is raising people?" We shouldn't all be beggers.

                                          1. re: cayjohan
                                            ccbweb Oct 22, 2007 04:25 PM

                                            It sounds like your relatives are asking something more along the lines of "ooh, can we have this with dinner?" Which, personally, I'd find less irksome. I'm also used to special requests by some friends or family but those are always made ahead of time and because they like a particular dish that I make (shrimp tamales, brownies, that sort of thing) and never because someone rooted around in my pantry. Obviously, right there with you on "can I have this?" Sheesh. I did once have a friend who noticed the wealth of Trader Joe's stuff in my pantry (we had a walk in closet/pantry with a coat hanging space in the front and the pantry on the back wall) and asked if she could buy some from me (the TJs was 2 hours from town, but only 5 minutes from my Dad's house, so I'd go there when I visited and stock up).

                                            It's all in how one asks and the level of entitlement one presumes, I guess.

                                            1. re: ccbweb
                                              cayjohan Oct 22, 2007 06:24 PM

                                              'It's all in how one asks and the level of entitlement one presumes, I guess."

                                              Nailed it! If a friend wants to know how to cook something and needs a few bits from my pantry? no problem. And, they ask nicely.

                                              If one of my relatives would ask the same, I would respond in kind; however, it is usually a situation where I am cooking X and relatives find Y in the cupboard and insist on Z for dinner. (Dumping X into a freezer containter, this poster mumbles unhappily while trying to make the Z-dish that cupboard snooping has resulted in).

                                              We've already dealt with entitlement in digging into pantries for take-home stuff; what about entitlement in the realm of "hey! you've got something else here...can you make this for us? Love to hear your take on this, since holidays are upon us and relatives and friends are coming soon!

                                        2. diablo Oct 21, 2007 04:06 PM

                                          No. My friends are so lowbrow, I don't have to hide jack squat. Even if they had something to say, I'd be like " F&*% you"! As far as the "high end" liquor, they wouldn't know it if it bit 'em in the nose. I have to dole it out to them on special occaisions. Guess there's somethin to be said for the ol' ragtag bunch............

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: diablo
                                            g
                                            gryphonskeeper Oct 21, 2007 04:24 PM

                                            There is nothing wrong with being "Low brow" I came from very meger means and I have friends who I know cannot even fathom the cost of some of the higher end liquors I have in my collection. The only problem I have are with people who assume my cabinets are a free pass to sample at a whim. I do not go into peoples houses and walk into their bathrooms and say "Hey can I have a couple of these prescription medications? My hubby could use some of that Viagra and I would love to take a Zoloft or two for the high" So why would they assume they can drink half a bottle of Chivas that was tucked way in teh back of my cabinet (and not on the counter where I had a extensive selection of other liquors.

                                            1. re: diablo
                                              danna Nov 1, 2007 10:34 AM

                                              Yeah, I can't relate to this thread. None of my friends or family are nosy/nuerotic/judgemental/greedy/rude/whatever enough that it has ever even crossed my MIND they would peek in the cabinets. Lowbrow, huh? So that means you think it's a lack of intellectual curiosity, not merely manners? ;-)

                                              I try not to leave any sex toys lying around the powder room, otherwise, it's my house, I"m not hiding jack, either.

                                              1. re: danna
                                                diablo Nov 4, 2007 11:56 AM

                                                Yeah, I KNOW it's a lack of intellectual curiousity :) They are a very simple bunch to say the least, and certainly not mannerly (at least in my presence). That said, obviously I find nothing at all wrong with being "lowbrow" (who knew the term would garner such interest?) or I'd find new friends.

                                            2. free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 21, 2007 04:55 PM

                                              Thank you all, I feel better. We had the party last night, although I did see a few people go to get some sugar from the pantry and utensils from the cupboard it was far less invasive than other parties. In the past I've had people completely take over the kitchen because of final prep for their contribution for dinner but fortunately that wasn't the case last night. It was pretty ironic because in my zeal to hide the goodies I forgot to take care of another area of my house which a guest needed to use. A lesson well learned.

                                              1. d
                                                Diane in Bexley Oct 22, 2007 09:13 AM

                                                OMG! I thought I was the only one. We have 2 kids, 1 teenager still at home and one at college. They bring their friends over who think nothing of rummaging through the pantry and freezer and eating whatever and often not even closing packages or re-sealing items. Have been very disappointed in the past to think I had home baked goodies stashed in the freezer, opened up a box, only to discover half the brownies gone or cake eaten. So...I lock the freezer. Have had several arguments with DDs over this, but it's the house rule now. They know where the key is, but not supposed to share with friends. As for pantry, I usually keep Walker's shortbread cookies, imported candy, speciality foods, etc. in special "secret" hiding place. Put out ordinary chips, pretzels, crackers out in front as "decoys" so they will get eaten first. Don't mind if kids get into water, juice, soda, etc. but it just galls me to clean up after them and see an open bottle with 2-3 gulps missing that I now have to throw away. My children accuse me of having Depression era mentality about food, but I just hate to see waste.

                                                Regarding the type of food we buy, no, I am not ashamed of any of the food we buy. But I do get ticked off by nosy relatives, friends, etc. who open fridge or pantry and make comments. Agree with another poster, were these people raised under a rock? Amazing what passes for manners in the 21st century (or lack thereof).

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Diane in Bexley
                                                  t
                                                  torty Oct 22, 2007 03:12 PM

                                                  I similarly have neighborhood teenage boys that step into the walk in pantry before they come into the living area and who routinely invade the extra freezer where the microwaveable treats and ice creams are. I also keep the good stuff way in the back and "their" treats up front. In the freezer, hiding things under the squid or the chicken feet works well.

                                                2. podunkboy Oct 22, 2007 06:21 PM

                                                  I guess I've never had a problem with guests snooping in my cabinets, mostly because our house is small and not conducive to large-scale entertaining. When family visits, they're welcome to everything we have that they can find, and there's nothing in our cabinets that I wouldn't want them to see. (All that stuff's hidden under the bed in a box clearly marked "rancid cow parts").
                                                  Now there WAS a time when my brother-in-law spent a summer living in our basement, and he foolishly drank my last beer while I was at work. HE'S no longer welcome in our house.

                                                  1. w
                                                    willownt Oct 23, 2007 08:55 AM

                                                    You feel embarrassed to have sweetened flaked coconut and jello in your cupboards? Goodness! I think your friends are far too judgmental. These are hardly items so scandalous that a 3 year-old must be "protected" from them!

                                                    I think I've gone far enough when I tidy up my counters. Anyone who digs around them, can reorganize them, as far as I'm concerned. OTOH, I am one of a few members of my family who raids an elderly relative's cabinets when she goes out of the room to root out expired, moldy items (ranging from aspirin to peanuts) she is too thrifty to get rid of on her own. We do it for her own safety.

                                                    1. c
                                                      cimui Oct 23, 2007 08:17 PM

                                                      Definitely. If it's my mom and dad. They are health freaks. We were brought up in a household where the only sweeteners were honey and fruit. When they come to visit, I hide my chips, my candy, my wine, my sugar cereals, everything! =) It's a protective measure to avoid lots of and lots of forwards about how I'm going to die young.

                                                      1. b
                                                        browniebaker Oct 23, 2007 10:50 PM

                                                        On packages of precious stash, I have been known to draw a skull and cross-bones or simply write "HAZ MAT," to disguise them from both guests and inmates.

                                                        1. j
                                                          jujuthomas Oct 26, 2007 05:43 AM

                                                          OMG - when I saw the title of this post, all I could think of was hiding my peanut butter jar when my mother and step-dad come to visit... he has a VERY bad habit when he's the least bit hungry of dipping a spoon (or his finger -- eeeeuuuuwwww) repeatedly into the jar. Now we just don't buy PB, but he's been known to do it with other things as well. what can I say, I love him, but he's gross! haha.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: jujuthomas
                                                            p
                                                            piccola Oct 26, 2007 07:44 PM

                                                            Well, I do that at home, but it's MY jar. Like drinking out of the milk carton. I would never do that at someone else's house.

                                                            1. re: piccola
                                                              ccbweb Oct 26, 2007 10:01 PM

                                                              The peanut butter spoon...the greatest 2am snack of all time. But, like piccola, at my house...my jar.

                                                              1. re: ccbweb
                                                                Ljubitca Nov 3, 2007 04:42 PM

                                                                I once had a friend tell me that her preffered Grey Goose vodka over the vodka I was pouring him. I then remembered why I hadnt invited him over for 5 years. This is the same person who once brought a nintendo to a party plugged it in and sat down in the living room while everyone stared. Mind you the vodka I was serving was just as nice if not better than the Grey Goose. He's a marketers tool I guess.

                                                                But on the note to eating peanut butter on a spoon or with your fingers - guys this is a choking hazard. You should always eat peanuts butter on some type of food. If you choke on just plain peanut butter its basically over.

                                                                And to the Original posters comment - I dont hide anything really everything I have is for anyone who visits except anything containing sour cherries. That is where I draw the line. I have been known to hide toys when people bring their sticky kids over. Who like to five finger items.

                                                          2. b
                                                            Bite Me Oct 27, 2007 04:33 AM

                                                            I've been known to hide stuff from my husband that he bought for himself, but I think is unhealthy for him to eat. Othewise, no, I don't hide stuff in my pantry. My pantry is, sadly, very pathetic, though! It's woefully understocked. It doesn't have fancy pull out shelves, though it wishes it had them. It's messy and cries out for some type of space organizers. I'm sure that it says a lot about me, Dr. Freud. I like the fact that you hide stuff from your guests (and what is wrong with jello or coconut flakes?) but easily share all this info with us!!!

                                                            1. j
                                                              jonnorthwood Oct 27, 2007 10:52 AM

                                                              I don't hide anything in my pantry: when I lived alone, it wasn't an issue, and now that my roommates have had their wicked way with all of my ingredients and accoutrements, I'm too burned out to worry about it. I finally gave up when I realized my entire stash of saffron threads had been pilfered because one of them wanted to try their hand at making saffron rice to go with the barbequed pork and black beans she was making. *laugh* There's nothing for the guests to find, anymore.

                                                              As to alcohol, the only people who visit--and who like wine--are the ones I'd be willing to share my cellar with.

                                                              1. jennywinker Oct 31, 2007 11:17 AM

                                                                C'mon! I can't believe there's not ONE PERSON out there who admits to snooping in other people's kitchen cabinets? I freely admit that I am overly obsessed with people's food habits and love to sneak a peak in cabinets, refrigerators, pantries, etc. Of course, I don't do it when they're around, I don't comment on anything to their faces, and I don't ask if I can take home their Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee that I "happened" to find on the top shelf in the back.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: jennywinker
                                                                  j
                                                                  Janet from Richmond Oct 31, 2007 11:22 AM

                                                                  I snoop at my brothers (he's the one who taught me to be a Hound) and he snoops at our house, but we don't take anything. Sometimes we will offer something (a new hot sauce or something) for the other to take.

                                                                  1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                                    p
                                                                    piccola Oct 31, 2007 05:57 PM

                                                                    Same here. I always snoop - sometimes openly, if it's someone I'm really close to - but I never, EVER help myself.

                                                                  2. re: jennywinker
                                                                    toodie jane Nov 4, 2007 10:40 AM

                                                                    Yes, I'm a pantry archeologist.

                                                                    Usually at my IL's homes, where they love to cook, and have all kinds of exotic ingredients. They don't mind--and I'll often get a quick tutorial and/or directions to the local supermarket that carries the item. Have found some great foods that way.

                                                                    Conversely, if I've discovered something I think they'll like, I make my hubby pack an extra ice-chest so I can take them some. It's fun! I've carried fresh crema, cheese, meats, wines, etc. and have brought back the same. I'm blessed to have SIL's and BIL's that love to cook and share.

                                                                    I have a SIL that has had to hide treats from her dog--especially chocolate--as he could smell them and get into the cupboard while she was at work! Bad Buster!

                                                                  3. LulusMom Nov 1, 2007 10:42 AM

                                                                    I've just remembered that last Valentine's day one of our babysitters helped herself to the unopened box of Neuhaus chocolates my husband had given me. I thought that was going a bit far.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                      j
                                                                      jujuthomas Nov 1, 2007 10:56 AM

                                                                      I had a rule as a sitter (a million years ago) - never open any packages and never finish something if there isn't much left! If only all sitters followed that rule, eh?
                                                                      I don't think any of our friends/family snoop in our pantry... my mother doesn't have to, we frequently cook together when we visit. I don't look because I don't care what other folks are eating. Unless I'm helping cook I stay outta the cupboards! :)

                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                        LulusMom Nov 1, 2007 12:08 PM

                                                                        I know - it just seems obvious to me that you neither finish nor start something in someone else's house. The fact that it was so obviously a valentine's gift made it even more bizarre.

                                                                        And I'm with you on the snooping thing. It wouldn't occur to me to look in someone else's pantry. If they are foodies, I'll know basically what is there anyway, and if they're not, ditto.

                                                                        1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                          danhole Nov 2, 2007 08:07 AM

                                                                          The only people who snoop in our pantry, fridge or freezer, are our grown daughters. It's a ritual for them to come over, open the fridge, ask what was for dinner last night and can I have a taste, then go to the pantry and ask about whatever new crackers, condiments, etc. They are curious about the new things I try and want to know what I use them for, are they good, do you think so & so would like that, and so on. Next they check the freezer to see what big hunk of meat might be lurking there, and ask me when was I planning to make that, because they know if it a big piece, it's probably for a family dinner. I don't mind, and as I have a tendency to overstock, and there are only 2 of us here, I often send them home with extras.

                                                                          Just yesterday my DD that has 2 children came over to pick up some delicious leftover pork steaks I had made. I knew we weren't going to finish them, and her kids have been sick, so I offered them so she wouldn't have to cook. While she was here she was pondering about what to serve as a side dish. The pork had an oriental flavor to it, so she was thinking rice and asked if I had some, which I did, and gladly gave her the white rice and some jasmine rice. It made it easy on her, and that made me feel good.

                                                                          I never look into anyones pantry when I go over, unless they ask me to hand them something out of it. My friend and I were cooking at her house, and she told me to go to the pantry and get an item. When I did I was amazed at how neat it was, and in alphabetical order! I went home and cleaned up my pantry (not in alpha order, though.) LOL!

                                                                          1. re: danhole
                                                                            LulusMom Nov 2, 2007 08:58 AM

                                                                            alphabetical order???? holy guacamole (filed neatly between goat cheese and horseradish).

                                                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                                                              danhole Nov 2, 2007 09:06 AM

                                                                              Ha! It made it easy for me to find the organic bouillon! Now, was that under O or B? Hmmm, think it was B.

                                                                              As far as hiding stash, yes I do had a special spot behind some old plastic ware for things that I don't want to share with the daughters!

                                                                              1. re: danhole
                                                                                chocchipcookie Nov 3, 2007 05:23 PM

                                                                                Hey! LOL. I file my spices in my lazy susan drawer in alphabetical order so they are easy to find. When I am looking for an herb or spice, it makes it much easier than staring at a sea of all the same color caps. As far as hiding things, I put out things that Granny CAN eat when she babysits so she doesn't go rumaging through everything. It doesn't work though. For some strange reason today, the fishie crackers, the evaporated milk (unopened) and the marshmellow cream were clearly moved to the refridgerator. Was she going to make fudge and changed her mind?? Highly doubt that-she can barely toast a peice of bread. She is the type to open up a bag of cheese with the ziplock feature WITH SCISSORS. Drives me insane because then she uses a paperclip or better-saran wrap to "close" the bag. One day she wanted hot sauce for her chicken fingers. Without askng, she poured it then changed her mind and proceeded to pour it back into the ketchup bottle!! My husb whispers to add ketchup to the grocery list. She is one crazy granny he needs to stay out of my kitchen but can't help herself. I know I'll find more strange things she has done tomorrow.

                                                                      2. hotoynoodle Nov 3, 2007 03:58 PM

                                                                        lol, what the heck is pepper pot soup?

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
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                                                                          Louise Nov 6, 2007 09:59 AM

                                                                          Tripe soup. Some people might think it was gross. But then at least they wouldn't try to steal it.

                                                                          1. re: Louise
                                                                            Ljubitca Nov 7, 2007 11:24 AM

                                                                            No its pretty gross. My mother used to make it and the smell would turn my stomach in an instant. No one steals tripe soup.

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                                                                          Alice123 Nov 3, 2007 04:13 PM

                                                                          I hope you aren't loopy. I do the same thing. Either because I don't want to hear how the food is bad for me or because it's hard to get or fairly expensive and I don't think the guests are going to really appreciate it. (I have "good salt" and "good vinegar" that I'll only offer you if you are the kind of person who will recognize the "good" salt.)

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                                                                            alicea Nov 3, 2007 04:47 PM

                                                                            When I was pregnant with my daughter I CRAVED spaghetti with Ragu. I was so ashamed at having Ragu in the house that I hid the jar in the back of the fridge. I knew if my husband saw it he would mercilessly berate me for it.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: alicea
                                                                              LulusMom Nov 4, 2007 07:33 AM

                                                                              My embarrassing craving was McDonald's ice cream. I hadn't eaten in a McD's in 15 years, but I couldn't stop myself.

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                                                                              ATaleOfFiction Nov 4, 2007 11:07 AM

                                                                              No, I would never feel obligated to hide any of my things because of someone's food preferences, whether they adore junk food or are complete health food nuts. Of course, I really regulate who comes into my home, so most people invited in know I don't care for someone else's opinion (even my own family or best friends) about how I manage my household. My closest friends know they're welcome to go nuts in my cupboards (but not to the point of taking my things home), and everyone else is polite enough to ask. As far as "special" dishes... that's a toughie. I don't make things just because someone's looking through my stocks and sees something expensive, which I really see as quite rude. Basically, it's a matter of 'you'll eat what I make and like it!' if someone doesn't make their food preferences known to me before coming over for supper.

                                                                              As far as booze goes, I do have my own separate Scotch and Irish whiskeys, tequila and bourbon - which absolutely no one is simply allowed to help themselves to. That's always kept separate. I do stock decent liquor though, because I refuse to serve [i]anyone[/i] swill while they're a guest in my home.

                                                                              1. jennywinker Nov 16, 2007 01:21 PM

                                                                                I've been racking my brain trying to think of what I would hide from guests (out of embarrassment, not just hiding the good scotch). Duh! For everyday dinners, I've recently taken up drinking box wine. Never mind the 112 bottles of decent stuff on the rack. The Black Box is definitely going in the back of the closet.

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                                                                                  Sinicle Nov 17, 2007 09:25 AM

                                                                                  I am not qualified to opine on your mental status, but I would not hide foods that I am "ashamed" of having in my closet. There is enough guilt around. What your friends' three year sees/eats is their problem not yours.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Sinicle
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                                                                                    tusti Nov 18, 2007 06:10 AM

                                                                                    Keep a can of Spam next to the truffle oil to prove to Mr./Mrs. nosey you are a eclectic foodie or at least have a sense of humor.:>)

                                                                                    1. re: tusti
                                                                                      jennywinker Nov 26, 2007 01:09 PM

                                                                                      One should always keep a can of SPAM around. After all, it's "Crazy Tasty."

                                                                                  2. Suzy Q Nov 18, 2007 07:01 PM

                                                                                    Did I miss something? What risk would there be in a three year old seeing jello or sweetened coconut? Heck, I was trying to think of any three year olds I knew who hadn't EATEN jello before - I thought that was a staple of childhood! :-)

                                                                                    That being said, IMHO, anyone who will judge you on what's in your pantry isn't much of a friend, but that's just me. Maybe I'm a member of the low-brow gang, too!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Suzy Q
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                                                                                      in_wonderment Nov 19, 2007 11:56 AM

                                                                                      haha. i was trying to think of a 3 year old that would eat coconut.

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                                                                                      in_wonderment Nov 19, 2007 12:04 PM

                                                                                      So in my college student mind... "stash" meant drugs or alcohol. Relieved it was Jello. I can sympathize though. I guess. In my own sketchy way.

                                                                                      In college we lived with a strict Baptist, who had a mother that was vehemently opposed to any form of alcohol. So when she would come, we were notified before to hide everything. One time, I was home alone and I got the message she was coming. I took our collection of various liquors, and a 24 pack of beer from the fridge, and hid it in my room. While she was there, she inspected a fridge... And I hear "EMILY... EMILY WHAT IS THIS?!?" Scared that I had forgotten some alcohol, I hid in my room. Apparently however, she found a Red Bull in the fridge and was very concerned that her daughter might be drinking them. After all, Red Bulls are dangerous.

                                                                                      It's really a shame she never found the liquor and beer.

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                                                                                        Pincus Nov 22, 2007 01:24 PM

                                                                                        I would hide the Old Dutch or Kettle potato chips from my food stash, unless they were very good friends coming over. :)

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