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Keep Out!!!!!!!! Tell us your secret stash and how you protect it

Every family has at least one person who does this. Sometimes you want a little cache of edibles that is for you alone. It's all yours, not for sharing, and it's incredibly comfortable knowing that it is there. My mom always had a candy bar in her purse and a bag or two of pepperidge farm cookies. My grandmother had some hand dipped chocolate ice cream and orange sherbert from the drug store. It came in a cardboard container like chinese take out. And no one touched it but her. It was her little after dinner treat. My aunt Mary had a plastic container of hersheys syrup. Her five kids knew it was hands off or else! Right now I have half a cheese steak with mushrooms in my fridge all wrapped up in a brown paper bag with" keep out" and a skull and cross bones drawn on it with a magic marker. And heaven help whoever eats it before i get home tonight! So 'fess up! I know I'm not alone. Or tell us how unfair this practice is, why the chowhound motto should be share and share alike! No cache unpillaged!

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  1. Nothing wrong with a little skull and cross bones! When I lived at home, I would use either a radioactive or bio-hazard warning sticker from a hospital on my stash. It usually worked. I mean, how fair is it when you go to leave for school and the restaurant dinner you saved for lunch is gone? When I had a roommate who was going through my orange juice like water, I bought a half gallon dark brown plastic jug that film photographers use for developer. Roomie never opened that jug! I never really had to worry about my homemade cake frosting stash, though.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Kate is always hungry

      My mother used to keep a hershey bar wrapped in foil in the freezer and labeled it "liver". No one ever touched it!
      I sometimes keep a stash of m&m's in a drawer in my bedroom but my son found it recently. I'm thinking of putting a mouse trap inside the bag next time.

      1. re: lillydaisy

        People who grew up in South Asian households might recognize a pan-box. Many households have ornate little boxes used for storing betel nuts / pan / chewing cloves for after-dinner consumption. I grew up with a mom who'd hide cookies and other sweets in our pan-boxes, and of course most treats would absorb the overpowering smell and would taste like pan.

        This topic reminds me of a college roommate who used to keep his...*ahem*..questionable computer files... in a folder labeled 'math homework'. Surely no-one will click there!

        1. re: lillydaisy

          The vegetable crisper drawer fools 'em every time. I've also been known to hide Reese's Cups in a plastic bin under my bed.

          1. re: comestina

            Well, not every time. I tried hiding the last beer in the crisper under some aging broccoli and my husb found it with no trouble!

      2. Everything I love and don't want to share I order "extra extra spicy". Since few people like spicy food to the extent that I do, people who know me, know to stay away. I do find it humorous when I'm at work and find out someone has stolen my lunch... it's always pretty easy to figure out who it is.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Spends Rent on Food

          Awesome! That reminds me that it is not always parents hiding stashes from the kiddies. My friend John has trouble with his parents snacking on his leftover pizza. He orders it with extra garlic to ward them away. Last time it didn't work! I can hear him now howling in despair as he looked in the fridge. "They ate it anyway!!!"

          1. re: givemecarbs

            It's actually for the same reason that I drank only Southern Comfort in college. No one else would go near my precious stash.

        2. I used to operate a plant nursury. The girls who worked for me would always drink up
          my herbal ice tea until I started labeling it Prostrate medicine. They never touched it

          1 Reply
          1. re: paul balbin

            >>Or tell us how unfair this practice is, why the chowhound motto should be share and share alike!

            No way. H/D creme brulee is mine and mine alone. I don't care how many I have, it's all mine, mine, mine.

          2. I have a stash of chocolate bars. It's in a pantry cupboard in my basement, and everyone who knows me knows that to touch it is to dance with death. I do keep a few things in there that my guy likes, and that I don't particularly care for, like Snickers, Twix and Mr. Big bars, but he'll just say, "Babe, do you have any chocolate?" and I say "I'll surprise you" and go get him something. He doesn't go in that pantry!

            1. It's easy for me. I only live with my husband and he never looks past the very front of the fridge so all I have to do is put whatever I want towards the back or put it in a container you cannot see into without opening and it gets left alone. This is one of the perks of me having the responsibility of preparing all of the food/snacks. It seems he has completely forgotten how =) The only thing we wrangle over is fruit. He goes through it like mad, but fortunately we have a farmers market v. close by twice weekly.


              1. Worked at a place that had a rampant theft problem from the fridge. I labelled my stuff with the boss' name. Never lost a thing after that.

                1. Sometimes right in plain sight works. I've had stuff on the kitchen counter for days unmolested, but of course, it doesn't work all the time...

                  1. Once my family discovered my chocolate stash in the veggie drawer (they hate veggies) I had to put them inside an empty spinach box in the back of the freezer.

                    1. I'm the youngest of 5. We shared EVERYTHING. I got used to it and as a result, sharing is an impulse.
                      I share, share, share and sometimes insist on sharing more or GIVING it up if the person tastes it and gets that look of rapture.
                      My husband quickly learned that there are some things that he can NOT eat the last of. He just can't-it's mine. This list is small and includes:
                      fancy mixed nuts (I mean let's be honest, the man is happy with peanuts. I get the big, juicy Brazil Nuts because I appreciate them more, right!?!?)
                      birthday cake (right, even HIS birthday cake. I get the last of it. I earned it. Do not question me. leave it where you found it. how DID you find it? it was in an ancient cool whip container with the logo rubbed off. dam!!)
                      leftover Chinese food (again, MINE. I will share it with you but don't even THINK about polishing off those dumplings-they are mine!)

                      One food that he is not allowed to eat at all are (and this is pretty funny) are any of the "pretty" cookies in the Lady Stella pacakge. In fact I buy Lady Stella about once a month, and I get them 2 packs at a time because I actually open them both, pull out all the ones that are mine and lovingly re-gift him ones that I don't like.
                      Pretty cookies include: flower shaped pink, white or green iced ones, round iced ones of any color and MOST important: any with the tiny round candy balls!
                      The rest are his and I'll make up names for them to make them seem more attractive "Ooh! Baby eat that Vulcan White one! You love those!!"

                      If for some UNGODLY reason he decides to help me unpack and I can't stuff the cookies into the veggie crisper before he sees, I have to create a diversion.
                      I am not above starting a fire or stabbing myself in the upper thigh to distract him from my pretty cookies.

                      I also have special jelly that is not to be fooled with. I call it the 'World's Best Jelly' and I have stabbed him with a butter knife if he gets too close.
                      Its Bonne Maman-Cherry. Just leave us alone. We aren't hurting anyone. Again, the man is happy to eat Sugar Free Smuckers. Why not allow me my WBJ without
                      any toast crumbs or ribbons of butter floating on top?

                      Thanks for letting me talk this out. I feel better now.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Boccone Dolce

                        Great post! I love it that you name the cookies!

                        1. re: Boccone Dolce

                          You are TOO funny! Where do you find the Lady Stella cookies? I don't think I've ever seen them. They sound very pretty. Relieved to know someone else has the same with birthday cake concerns.

                          1. re: Kate is always hungry

                            Easy for me, I am a salt freak so I married a sweet tooth, (there were other reasons for the union but this was a big plus) so we never eat each others snacks. His Cherry Garcia cones, (aka Cones of Happiness) are safe from me and my Chex Mix and gooey cheeses are safe from him. Now that the kid is away at college, (he loved both) we are happily snacking away on our own treats

                            1. re: Kate is always hungry

                              Kate I almost decided NOT to tell you. I mean, what if you fall in love with my pretty cookies and buy them all? What if the world discovers pretty cookies and they become scarce?!? The company has been in business since like 1910- the pretty cookie recipe must be preserved- it can not die!!

                              http://www.stella-doro.com/cookies.html - notice the pink and green?
                              )They are Stella D'Oro. Perfect with coffee. Not sweet enough to make you sick if you inhale the entire box. I love them because we grew up eating them, and they smell and taste like home- if I close my eyes and take a bite I'm back in my Mom's kitchen, and she's right there with me.
                              I'll let you have the Vulcan White ones..... And the BuckeyBrown's.

                              1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                You are right to be cautious. I would want the same ones. I've never seen the Lady Stella assortment in Los Angeles. If I ever do, I will buy a package in your honor--and to preserve the recipe. I think the cookies will be around for a while, and I appreciate your concern.

                                1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                  Boccone Dolce, when going to school, I used to pass the Stella D'Oro plant in the Bronx. At certain times -- not all the time, mind you -- the aroma wafting from there was heavenly. Obviously, they were in the midst of baking.

                                  Are they still as good, have they been left intact with all the 'bad' fats I learned to love and cherish?

                                  I'll have to pick up a package (bet their weight has been lowered) next time I'm at the supermarket.

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    Those Lady Stella cookies are going on my store list right now!

                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                      Okokok dolores and gmcarbs y'all are makin me VERY nervous!!
                                      I never look at the fat type or count on the pretty cookies, actually. I look on almost everything else I buy but Lady S gets a pass-she can list 'New and Improved-Now with Chunks of Lead!! ' and still, into the cart they would go. I love them dearly and to me they taste the same. You have to bend to get them in my store- they hide them (maybe just for me?) and they hang out next to the Stella D'Oro S cookies (I hug the package and cry) and those angel wing ones that I don't care for.

                                      1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                        LOL! I haven't had those cookies since I was a kid, and now I can't find them. Everyone carries those chichi "Gianna" cookies now.

                                  2. re: Boccone Dolce

                                    I am heartbroken........
                                    All my local markets are strangely OUT of Lady Stella. They just have the S cookies, and the shelves are sad and empty because they stock them right below Mother's/Archway which are out of business now.
                                    (primal scream)
                                    I will get with one of the store managers to find out if he can order some for me (they do that here at Publix) and report back.
                                    I haven't had any in a month. (sob) My husband attempted to placate me with some double chocolate Milano's but that just didn't even come close (but I love him for the effort)

                                    1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                      There, there, dry your tears. They are still being made. I found them (right after you disclosed their identity to me) at Gelson's, an upscale market in my neighborhood, and at a small independent Italian grocer. I'm in the San Fernando Valley. Southern California. Keep me posted.

                              2. I once worked with a theif. They key for me was changing the hiding place daily. Some co-workers resorted to contamination of the frequently stolen item, so when the theif stole it, they would get a surprise. Contaminations included hot pepper vingegar in soda, a chunk of habanero in the lo-mein, raw flour instead of powdered sugar on top, and many other delights.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: beth1

                                  I like the way you think!

                                  I worked with one also. I had made a plate of homemade, but yet uncooked, tortellini, that was gift to a coworker to take home and cook. The theif ate some of the raw uncooked tortellini. I got a chuckle.

                                  1. re: beth1

                                    A guy I knew in college kept having his beer stolen out of the fridge. Finally he took a quart budweiser bottle and you can guess what he put in it...no one ever stole his beer again.

                                  2. When our boys were teenagers we lived on a tight budget. Grocery shopping happened every two weeks when my paycheck arrived. I would get them their snacks that they loved and snacks that my husband and I loved but the boys didn't. Each time the groceries came in they were warned to make their snacks last because no more would appear for another two weeks. Inevitably theirs would be gone in three days and the invasion would begin on ours. Finally I started stashing ours in a suitcase in our bedroom closet and just told the boys that I was no longer buying snacks for their dad and I because we didn't "need" them. Worked great! On the occasions when hubby and I would share a bowl of nuts in front of the TV and the boys would look on in envy I'd tell them I'd bought a little bag on the way home, no they couldn't have any, and where was the two week supply of snacks I had laid in for them a week ago? Gone? Too bad. They eventually learned to make them last.

                                    1. Whisky/scotch. Shotgun. Any form of gregariousness stops with the scotch.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: link_930

                                        Heh. I like your direct approach. Why be subtle?

                                      2. Hide it in the freezer clearly marked "liver".

                                        1. I have to store my "goodies" in my desk drawer in my home office. My husband has zero self control and it drives me nuts to buy something and look forward to eating it, only to discover it's been snarfed up. He has a major sweet tooth and will eat a pound of candy in one sitting.

                                          1. It's funny because in my family I never had this issue, everyone respected everyone else. However my boyfriend is totally different with his family, he does "protect" his stash and I was puzzled as to why he was so overly concerned about it so I asked and he told me that if he doesn't someone will eat (esp. his dad) and knowing his dad I can now understand.

                                            It's just really interesting how things like this were NEVER an issue in my family. I could remember when I was little my aunt was pretty much the only person who reserved certain foods for herself and that was an issue between her and my mother but in my immediate family it just never happened.

                                            1. DH and I don't really have the same taste in crave-foods, but if I needed to hide mine, all I would need to do is put it on the top shelf in the fridge right behind the milk, because if he calls me to the kitchen to help him find something, surely that's where it's "hidden."