“You’re A Bastard!”
“No I’m not!”
“Yes you are!”
“Why would say that?”
“Are your mom and dad married?”
“Yeah. They called themselves husband and wife. So yeah, they’re married! My mom was called Mrs. all the time… and my dad Mr.”
“Me and my brothers and sisters, have been baptized in a Catholic church and on the birth certificates Felix M. was listed as our father. So there. I am not a bastard!?”
“But you are. Just say – you are a bastard.”
“You know… if you don’t leave me alone… I’m going kick your fuckin’ ass!”
Of course I’m in no position to kick anyone’s ass. I might get my ass kicked instead. But hey… at least I can bluff! But this is how cruel our jokes can become at times…
OK… One fact did exist. “No Eday (baby)… your dad and I were never married in church. He loved me and I loved him. So… we just started living together. And then I got pregnant with you. And then your two brothers came… four more children after that.”
They lived together and they had us! I have never ever heard of the word bastard. Nobody called anybody a bastard and I am sure most of the people we knew their parents did not marry in church either. Getting married in church wasn’t an issue with my parents. I don’t ever remember them discussing it. They were too busy trying to figure out how they were going to feed their babies. Babies they were cranking out as fast as a factory in China cranks out Ipads.
In my heart and soul… I am a legitimate daughter of Vicenta and Felix and so as my brothers and sisters. Them not being married in church really has nothing to do with us. We’ve arrived into this world and can’t say a damn thing about it.
Was I bothered about it? Yes… maybe a little. I never hated my dad. But there is one thing that I hold against him ‘till he died… The fact that after he left my mom, after 13 years of being together, and seven children later, though their second to the youngest died when she was only two… my dad had the audacity to marry another woman in a civil ceremony! I had already left home at that time. I was 13 years old when I found out. I felt sorry for my mom… because she was left to support herself and two young daughters and a son – ages seven, five and three. My younger brothers, who were 11 and 9 years old went to live with him… Well, really, my mom sent them to live with our dad because she cannot afford to feed them. But I think the worst part about what he did was that the woman she left my mother for, was a widow with five children of her own. What the fuck! What was he thinking? Of course at that time I was only 13… I was hurt by what he did but did not express my feelings to him. Part of me blamed my mom… with her snide remarks and constant nagging.
In the Philippines… when poor men or husbands leave their wives and children for another woman… there’s no collecting child support or alimony. The wife is basically left with nothing and must shoulder the responsibility of feeding and clothing the children. She doesn’t get help from the ex-husband. She has to endure the pain all on her own…
Recently though… I decided to read up the on the family code of the Philippines. Here’s what I found out…
“Art. 34 of the family code states: No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties are found no legal impediment to the marriage. (76a)”
But how would this code be interpreted then, when my dad married another woman, in a civil ceremony after he left my mom…?
But does it really matter? Yeah. Maybe.
I wanted to win this argument!
I guess… I have to keep reading the family code…
On a second thought…
Maybe… maybe I’ll dig my dad from his grave……
The orange juice glazed on the pork chops is what makes the pork chops tender… and all the herbs and seasonings… make it spicy. Of course…. If you don’t like it spicy… you can always cut back on the cayenne pepper.
This is fairly easy to make… I think. I have served this dish with potato pancakes, roasted potatoes, corn bread and rice.
Herbed and Spiced Pork Chops with Glazed Carrots
- 4 thick pork chops (center or ribs chops)
- Cajun spice mix – see recipe below
- 6 TBSPs. extra light olive oil or vegetable oil divided
- Glazed carrots – see recipe below
- 1½ freshly squeezed orange juice – about 3 large oranges (seeds strained and discarded)
- Glazed Carrots:
- 3 carrots – peeled and julienned
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 TBSPs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine carrots, thyme, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
Cajun Spice Mix
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 2 TBSPs. cayenne pepper (reduce according to your heat tolerance)
- 2 TBSPs. paprika
- ¼ cup granulated garlic
- 2 TBSPs. black pepper
- 2 TBSPs onion powder
- 2 TBSPs dried oregano
In a medium size bowl or plastic container, combine all the ingredients listed for Cajun Spice Mix. Set aside.
Preheat the oven at 425°F.
Wash pork chops. Wipe excess water with paper towels.
Measure 8 TBSPs. of the cajun spice mix into a deep dish or baking pan. Store the remaining spice mix in a glass container, tightly covered.
Dredge each pork chop with the spice mix.
Heat a frying pan and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sear pork chops, two at a time, until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
After searing first batch, you may have to scrape the spices that got stuck in the pan and reserve this in a small bowl. Wipe the pan with paper towel. Add the remaining olive oil and continue searing the rest of the pork chops.
Transfer the pork chops into a large baking pan. (I use a Pyrex glass rectangular pan.)
Pour the freshly squeezed orange juice into the pan, add back the bits and pieces of herbs reserved in a bowl. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat. And then pour the boiling mixture over the pork chops.
Bake pork chops for 15 – 20 minutes or until the orange juice thicken a bit.
After 15 – 20 minutes of baking… spread the glazed carrots on top of the pork chops and bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve hot with potato pancakes, roasted potatoes, corn bread or rice.
Tess’ Kitchen Secrets:
#1 – freshly squeezed orange juice. the acid from the orange juice makes the pork chops tender and juicy.
#2 – by cleaning and wiping the frying pan, the pork chops brown easily
Enjoy and Happy Cooking!