M.F.K. Fisher’s Home Ground: Living and Loving the California Landscape

A Recent Talk to the Piedmont, Calif. Garden Club:

My husband said just as we were seated in a restaurant: I heard someone on NPR talking about M.F.K Fisher.

He had that slightly surprised look he gets when there’s news from my world that didn’t come from me.

Yes – he said – the guy mentioned something about a picnic, and something she ate she would never forget. I can’t remember what it was.

A pie, I said. A peach pie.

He looked at me, and ordered his tuna steak, rare.

How – and why – did I know about that peach pie?

What is my 36-year connection to MFK Fisher?

And how did the California landscape affect her life and work?

This is the subject of my one-hour talk.

Here’s what some people had to say about it:

“Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful program. It was a pleasure to work with you and I hope our paths cross again.”

“Wow! What a program! Everyone absolutely loved it! ….Could you hear the breathing and thinking? People’s minds & souls were engaged.”

“You make us all want to become part of an active year in PGC!!! Thanks so much.”

“Thank you for bringing Paula Panich to PGC; a bit different, thought-provoking and very enjoyable.”


“She was a lovely speaker, very inspiring and thought-provoking.”

M.F.K. Fisher (1908-1992), the great prose stylist and writer of food and place, began her California odyssey as a three-year-old in Whittier, in 1911. She left for France at 20, but returned to California, to Hemet, during the war. She vacationed in Laguna Beach, lived in Napa for fifteen years, and spent the last part of her life on a ranch in Sonoma. Hers is a California story of love of the varied climate and landscapes of California.

Contact Paula about presenting this talk to your group