Pizza Stone

Photo of round, pizza stone on a table.
Photo of round, pizza stone on a table.

This is a pizza stone from my parents which they gave me early in my marriage. It’s been well used these past sixteen years, particularly around Christmas time, which is the holiday I associate with the pizza-making tradition of my childhood. On Christmas Eve my siblings, cousins and I would be led by my grandmother in making pizzas for our family in her basement kitchen. I remember the smells of the dough covered in flour and the large pot of homemade gravy that simmered on the stove, and the feel of the olive oil as we spread it in the pans and the handfuls of shredded cheese we’d lift from pastel Pyrex bowls. While the pizza-making (and eating!) was a central activity, it is woven in my mind with other Christmas Eves traditions - card tables put together and covered with red and white cloths, the cloved oranges that were put in a bowl in the center of those tables, stockings my grandmother made for us that were stuffed with apples and tangerines, the matching pajamas that she made for all of us children which we would put on before we left her house. The pizza I make with my children now is different in the way it looks and tastes, and some of those other closely associated traditions have been left behind. Our gatherings are smaller, and my cousins and I share photos of our pizza-making with each other which happens across many miles instead of in the same kitchen as it did when we were young. But I hope that feeling of connection to our family that I still associate with the Christmas Eve’s of my childhood are what my children feel now as we cook and eat together. 

Place(s): New York
Year: 1910

– Beth Chiarelli

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more