Ah memories.....aren't they grand? My dad had his "play room" behind the garage. Dad was Italian and one of the most social people I've ever known and he loved to cook...actually I think what he loved best was feeding people so he had to cook :) In his play room he had a side by side refrigerator freezer always stocked with wine, champagne, salami, pepperoni and other goodies. He had a BeerMeister too and frequently commented that one had to continuously check the beer to make certain the keg hadn't gone bad.
He would pickle various things (besides himself and his friends
) including pigs feet. I carefully avoided his experiments. He especially enjoyed making drunk watermelon which we all considered harmless until my son innocently got ahold of one when he was 5 years old and got plastered with it! Dad was not good at labeling or keeping track of which things in that fridge had been "tampered" with.
He also made the best lasagne, rabbit & polenta and rissoto in the whole world - mostly because all of his dishes were seasoned with love.