By Marie Muccio

    Vera Meilak was a much loved and respected member of the inner west community.

    Born during the war in August of 1944 in Modena, Italy, at the age of 16 she lost her mother to an illness and she was left to care for her two younger siblings whilst her father and two older siblings went to work. She bravely stepped up to the massive challenge which involved doing all the cooking. This quickly became her passion.

    She inspired me every day with her love and dedication to cooking and baking. So much so that it also became my passion and from this I started my own food blog where I share many of her wonderful recipes.

    I have so many fond memories of seeing my grandmother in the kitchen doing what she does best. She always believed cooking was not about skill but passion and love for what you were creating.

    Whenever I would ask her how she got to become a great cook or why my biscuits never turned out as good as hers she would always reply encouragingly, “Because I have had a lot of practice!”

    What made her cooking so special was that she did not only cook Italian food, but her food was also inspired by Morocco and she made wonderful desserts and savoury dishes full of aromatic spices.

    She was truly an inspiration to me. Although she is no longer here she will continue to inspire me every day and I know she will be with me on my own cooking journey.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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