Welcome to Kitchsplosion!

Just clear a spot for yourself amongst the pots and plates and food splatters. Sorry about that—I was just trying out a new dish and…well, my husband Wayne will clean it up later. Pull up a chair!**

What’s a Kitchsplosion?

Kitchsplosion—|ˈkich splō zh ən|  noun

1 a violent blowing apart, shattering or splattering of something in the kitchen, as is caused by removing the immersion blender partially from the liquid while it is running or, similarly, lifting the electric mixer out of the whipping cream while spinning. Also, overheating vegetable soup in the microwave.

2 technical: a violent expansion in which manic energy is transmitted outward from the vegetarian in the kitchen.

3 a sudden outburst of something such as noise, light, violent emotion from the kitchen, or insight gained from cooking, serving, or forgetting to unplug the electric mixer before disassembly.

4 massive disorder, mess, and general unsightliness of the kitchen created by Rachel’s cooking. According to Wayne.

ORIGIN portmanteau of kitchen, the usual epicenter of disaster, and explosion attributed to Wayne Mercier, the guy who is normally in charge of cleaning said kitchen. Explosion comes from the early 17th century Latin explosio(n-) meaning ‘scornful rejection.’

Is that the whole story?


That’s just the definition, silly. Here’s the story:

“Woah. Looks like there was a Kitchsplosion in here,” Wayne says to me kind of regularly after I cook. It’s true. I’m not sure how it happens, but even if I feel like I’m cleaning as I’m preparing, this is what our kitchen looks like when I’m done: the counters, stove, and sink are crowded with food-covered implements. I have managed to dirty some eight cooking vessels; a tower of various sized bowls; a dozen spoons, spatulas and other utensils; and all our measuring spoons and cups. It’s an art.

Ok, what is the Kitchsplosion blog about?

I started to blog in the spring of 2009 thinking I’d write about whatever was on my mind, but by the end of 2010, I realized that my blog—and I—needed more focus, a specific Project. It needed to be about food…

Then (kaboom!) after a particularly messy night cooking, Wayne suggested Kitchsplosion as the new name, which I instantly loved. In addition to dinner, the kitchsplosion is physical manifestation of my “creativity.” Kitchsplosion is my Project: to catalogue my successes and failures in the kitchen and beyond, to share my recipes and meditations. This blog is the story of my journey of cooking and disastering and eating, which I hope will be entertaining and at times instructive or thought-provoking. All of these entries relate to food, somehow, and food relates to everything else. As Brillat-Savarin wrote, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” He also explained, “A meal that ends without cheese is like a beautiful woman with one eye,” which is another topic entirely.

Who are you?


I’m Rachel Kurtz, currently a high school English teacher on leave, earning my MFA in creative nonfiction through Bennington’s Writing Seminars, which is a low-residency format program. That means lately I’m home most of the day with Wayne Mercier, who is my husband, web guru, photographer, and cleaner-upper extraordinaire. When he’s not helping me out, he is a webpage designer, photographer, and creator/moderator of the Northeast Paddlers Message Board. (The professional photos are his; the obviously non-professional ones are mine.) We share our house in the Adirondacks with our spazzy dog Cleo who is allowed to clean up anything that falls from the kitchen counters, as long as they are not chocolate or onions, which are apparently bad for dogs, but good for us.

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