Hi, I’m Fran Tunno, also known as Frenzy (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 probably 40 years ago – I’m much more crinkly now.)
I was raised to be a good Catholic, remain a virgin until death or marriage, live within 50 feet of my parents, become a school teacher, stay married forever, and take care of everyone else first.
Disappointment was inevitable.
I am now a divorcee writer, living in Los Angeles. I have two college age kids, a Corgi, a small apartment and a close-knit family 2,000 miles away, who I miss very much.
I compensate by cooking, baking, inviting people over so I can feed them, walking my dog, watching far too many English period pieces, and getting lost in a good book.
I say, life can be ridiculously hard. Sometimes you just need an oasis where there’s food, laughter and alcoholic beverages, and that’s what I try to provide.
Well, you’ll have to supply the alcohol, but you do get recipes with drool-worthy pictures. And usually there’s 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 some of my blog posts. 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. As soon as someone showed up, she sat them down at the table and put everything in our refrigerator in front of them.
Then she focused on them with laser beam intensity, and if they didn’t eat enough, she’d say — with grave disappointment, “What’s a matta — you don’d a liiiga my food?” She took force-feeding to dizzying heights.
She was the source of my best material. 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, come by, read some stories, laugh and hang out for a while.
And for God’s sake, stay away from the cable installer.
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!
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