Hi, I’m Fran Tunno, also known as Franzy (my mom’s pet name for me). I am a first generation Italian American and the woman in the above photo to the left of my parents at the head of the table. (That was quite a few years ago.)
I was raised to live within 50 feet of my parents, become a school teacher, stay married forever, take care of everyone else first, be a good Catholic, and remain a virgin until death or marriage.
Disappointment was inevitable.
I am now a divorcee writer, copywriter, former radio personality, and voice actress who’s just moved back to the Pittsburgh area after living in Los Angeles for 40 years. I have two twenty-something kids living across the country, and one forty-something in Chicago. I miss them all daily. I have a geriatric Corgi, a small apartment and a close-knit family who are probably now sick of me because I’m always around.
I spend a lot of time cooking, baking, blogging, and, when I have time, inviting people over so I can feed them. I walk a few miles every day, watch far too many English period pieces and romantic comedies, and love getting lost in a good book.
I think we’ve all seen that life can be ridiculously hard. Sometimes you just need an oasis where there’s food, laughter, and alcoholic beverages.
You’ll have to supply the alcohol, but you’ll get the occasional deep thought, reflections on what it’s like to be back home now, and recipes with drool-worthy pictures. There’s usually a laugh, which may be enough to distract you before you run off with the cable installer. Or not — depends on the cable installer.
So, any time life has beaten the crap out of you, sit down, relax and read a blog post or two. Hopefully, you’ll laugh, think, remember family, or be inspired to cook. Plus, you’ll benefit from my mom’s sage advice like: “Fart while you can because once you get married, it’s too late.”
(Clearly, if you’re very thin skinned, this may not be the place for you.) If you’re the child or grandchild of an immigrant, (Italian or not) you’ll probably read my stories and go, “Oh my God, Yes! Her mom is just like my: aunt, grandma, mother-in-law.”
My “Mom’ stories are some of my favorites. I’m currently working on a book about her, which I hope you’ll enjoy. She was the source of my best material and the reason I’m such an annoying optimist.
Here are links to a few of my most popular mom stories: Bob Barker, Chicken Soup or Exlax, How My Italian Mom Weeded Out Prospective Suitors, Tang God For Patty – A Thanksgiving Story, Curse Words Never Sound as Bad in Italian, and finally, Six Simple Words That Can End Your Life.
Years ago, I realized I was given her because I was meant to share her stories and give people a good laugh. Here’s what some of my readers have to say (and no, I did not pay them, but probably should):
- “I love this post for so many reasons! Foremost for all the belly laughs you get out of me every time, but also for the sentiment and the self-knowledge of it all.” -Nicol
- “Just want you to know that I read your blog on swearing – in a public place – and was laughing so hard, people were staring!!!!” -Sister Janet
- “My friend Cathy introduced me to your blog last year and I have been thoroughly entertained ever since”. –Daedae
- “I’m drooling on my keyboard as I write this, so I hope it doesn’t short out before I’m finished.” -Chas
- “Your posts consistently make me laugh out loud.” -Monica
- “You have a magical way of reaching deep into our souls and pulling out the best of the memories. Bless you!” -Don
“I made the sad mistake of reading ‘Curse Words Never Sound as Bad In Italian’ to Al and showed him the picture of the spatula while eating breakfast. That picture should have been a fair warning of “do NOT drink your coffee now!” Well, even though we laughed at the picture of the spatula, he proceeded to drink coffee as I read your descriptions of the effectiveness of this tool and the chase scenes that would happen. He suddenly exploded with laughter and coffee shot all across the breakfast table.” -Marianne
Food has always been a huge part of my life. It’s the cement that’s kept Italian families together for centuries, and is the bonding element in most cultures. So, no matter where you’re from, you can probably relate.
If a story has moved you, or made you spit coffee across the breakfast table, please feel free to comment and become a follower. I’ll talk food and life with you any time. Thanks for stopping by!
All work on this sight is copyrighted and cannot be reprinted without express and written consent from Fran Tunno. ©Fran Tunno and AtFransTable.Wordpress.com, 2014. If you want to use something, please ask first, OK?
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Fran Tunno and AtFransTable.Wordpress.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
GINA RUBENDecember 19, 2020 at 9:58 am
I think we had the same parents, only mine were Jewish!
Fran TunnoJanuary 24, 2021 at 12:21 pm
Gina, so many of my friends are Jewish, which is completely understandable, we were all raised the same! I love it…we all have so much more in common than we realize. Sorry it took me so long to respond! Happy New Year!
Emily (Pizutti) SchneiderSeptember 25, 2015 at 4:30 pm
AND one more thing…..I am certain that some of my traits are inherently From the women on my fathers mothers side lol
Fran TunnoAugust 14, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Hey Emily, I never check this page of my blog and am horrified to see that it looks like I never responded to your two comments, but I really remember doing so, so I’m not sure what happened. I love that you enjoyed my blog and I have to tell you, your grandmother was one of my favorite people on earth. She was my godmother for Confirmation. She was smart, funny, and had such a great sense of humor. I used to love hearing her and my mom laugh together. I hope you get this hideously late response to your lovely notes from 2015!!! That is just embarrassing. Much love to you and your family. Stay safe during this hideous time.
Emily (Pizutti) SchneiderSeptember 25, 2015 at 4:29 pm
I just have to tell you I am laughing and crying at the same time right now!! My father is John Pizutti. My mother Mary Ann emailed me one story.
I got into your page and I cannot wait to read more!!
I was very small when my grandmother passed
And I was blessed to know your father and what a big heart he had
Even so I have vivid memories of them. I remember Mary ALWAYS made the cookies for weddings. I remember all the Christmas eves and all the fun! And I have heard versions of some of the titles of your stories and I cannot WAIT to read!!!
I am so happy I can share this with my family
Thank you so much!!!!!!
NataliaOctober 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm
I had to laugh about your mom’s disappointment when company comes over and doesn’t eat a ton of food. That is how it was in my family, and most of our neighborhood growing up Italian. I find myself acting the same way with my children’s friends. Keep writing about your Italian memories, not only do they make me laugh, but bring back memories!
Fran TunnoOctober 6, 2014 at 10:49 pm
Natalia, thank you so much for reading and taking the time to write a message. I so appreciate your support and am glad you can identify. Your note made my day!
Sara LockJune 9, 2014 at 4:13 pm
Write more! Write more!
Fran TunnoSeptember 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm
Love you Sara, I will keep writing!
Charles BurkettMay 16, 2015 at 3:34 am
Fran, I want you to know how much I appreciate reading your blog. I tend to binge on it, so it’s 6:30 am on Saturday and during the past hour and a half I’ve smiled, chuckled, laughed and become verklemft. (Not sure about the spelling, but you know what I mean.) For so many reasons, thank you. Love, Chuck
Wendy ChanApril 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm
Hi Fran is Wendy. How are you? I miss you already in panel. 🙁
Fran TunnoSeptember 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm
Hi Wendy, thanks for the sweet words!
Suzanna SargsyanApril 17, 2014 at 11:39 am
Fran, so glad we met!! Your blog is very interesting and funny! Your personality shines through your writing beautifully! Looking forward to reading more from you 🙂 & stealing a few of your awesome recipes 😉
Fran TunnoSeptember 23, 2014 at 3:31 pm
Suzanna, thank you so much for the kind words. Thanks for reading! As long as you say you got the recipe from me, it’s not stealing!