Making things is an obsession for me. When I see something, anything, I wonder, can I make that myself? After reading a few influential and inspirational books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and thanks to my friend Jan, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, I took this obsession to the kitchen.

When I was 10, my Dad told me that if I knew how to read, then I knew how to cook. I’ve been reading and cooking since. I’ve long been cooking from scratch. I find it easy and not as time consuming as one might think. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of label reading and wondering if my bread really needs 30 ingredients or if my strawberry jam really needs high-fructose corn syrup. I decided to find out just how many everyday food items I can make myself. My “New-19th Century” cooking has become a daily part of life. I use modern tools, but try to make everyday items only using ingredients that were available in the 19th century.


Kara Thurmond’s long-running newspaper column “An Hour in the Kitchen” regularly entertains and enlightens readers with recipes, anecdotes and nutritional information. Her writing balances fun with facts that readers can use to live a healthier lifestyle.

Thurmond also uses her food knowledge to produce clever ad copy that will have your customers clamoring for your food products. She is also well-versed in both traditional and new media applications. With 17 years of experience in conceptualizing and designing print and web, she works one-on-one with her clients to achieve effective and award-winning results.

Thurmond’s bi-weekly food column, “An Hour in the Kitchen” appears in the following newspapers:

The Register Star, Hudson, NY

The Daily Mail, Catskill, NY

The Chatham Courier, Chatham, NY

You may reach her at kara@new19thcenturykitchen.com.