My Friend Kelly

Kelly was a college friend who drifted out of my life and then drifted back in. She rebounds excitement like a rubber band engine, zipping around, bringing in everyone nearby. She’s also encouraging to a fault. When I pop off on some disposable non sequitur, she engages in it, usually catching me off guard. When I consider what to write in this blog, she is often the first person I consult.

She’s bubbly and dimpled and dismisses irritants like she’s made of opalescent Teflon. She often talks fast and with just enough British and Canadian terms sprinkled in that I have to stop and ask her to repeat when she gets excited.

Her great-grandfather started off trading random knick-knacks in Shanghai. That spilled into the pearl business which drove the family to Hong Kong and beyond. Her grandfather is a prominent Chinese artist. Kelly inherited her grandfather’s artistic bent and her great-grandfather’s predilection for the business of objet d’art heading up several jewelry businesses that run from pearl and metalwork to silicone.

Oddly Kelly is also the closest thing I have in my life to a practical expert on the British Empire. She lived in Hong Kong until eight, then Ottawa. Back to Hong Kong for High School, University in the States, but then back to Toronto with her husband. She’s lived under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II for nearly her entire life.

Kelly is a friend who sticks. She tried to help me do a magic TV show in college (it failed, my fault). She was part of my group of friends who huddled together on 9/11. She schooled me on Chinese food at Peach Farm and introduced me to chicken feet.

You never forget a friend who introduces you to a favorite dish.

Fortunate enough to have indulged in a broad selection of Chinese cuisine in her life, her father is so into food he had an industrial kitchen built into a warehouse space in Hong Kong. Since she married a man from a small Quebec mining town, she now makes a brick chicken, tiny potatoes, and a steak that (he believes) are unparalleled in this world.

She almost made it on to Masterchef Canada.

If I had to explain her relationship with cooking, she coaxes. She’s made her hit dishes so many times; it’s like watching Clapton absent mindlessly strum through Layla.

Two years ago she unlocked the “Mom” super-level, which means there will come the point where no master chef, no food phenom, will be able to make food as well as her (to at least one person).

Well, once her son gets past the yogurt, orange, and cookie phase. My god, his gut flora could break Jamie Leigh Curtis in half.


To learn more about Kelly’s Jewelry, check out one of her companies, Oz & Ella: Beautiful. Chewable. #siliconedemocracy, and if you’re in Toronto at the end of the year, meet her at her booth at the One of a Kind Show and Sale.


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