Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meat Tenderizer- A Girl's Best Friend

I bet you think this is going to be about cooking or grilling the world's best steak... Wrong!  I'm talking Jellies- fish that is.

Anyone who has spent time in the water knows about jellyfish.  Beautiful and ethereal, these creatures of the deep are a HUGE pain- in whatever area they come into contact with!  While not deadly like the box jellyfish, irukandji and Portuguese Man O'War, they still irritate enough to ruin a beach excursion.

As kids, Kelly and I loved the water(reminder, Kelly is my cousin, kindred spirit, fellow hooligan).  We had a pier right there to use for swimming in Sturgeon Creek, but the creek was full of jellies.  What to do?!  We donned jeans, turtlenecks, knee high socks pulled over our pant legs and an adult who was to be the "sea nettle spotter".  And in we went.  Swimming fully clothed is not easy, especially in winter clothes.  I could never figure out why I was sent to Deltaville in the heat of the summer with long pants and turtlenecks.  I guess it was to prepare for a possible sudden ice age.  I had clean underwear too for those who care to know.

At the local beach- Stingray Point, Kelly and I waged all out warfare on the globs of goop.  Seated on our owl raft (it had clear plastic eyes for underwater viewing) we would bombard the jellyfish with sandballs.  Of course all we really accomplished was sending them deeper and out of sight.  As we got older, we started catching them and dissecting them on the pier.  I'm surprised we didn't get stung doing that.

We had our fair share of stings through the years, and each time, someone would get out the meat tenderizer, make a paste with water and applied it to the sting.  Gross you say?  Neverwork, you think?  WRONG!  It was proven years later that there is an ingrediant in meat tenderizer that neutralizes an enzyme in the sting.  Sometimes baking soda or toothpaste works- similar to a bee sting.

But one place meat tenderizer doesn't work well is the eyes.

Yes, there's a story. 

My cousin Ty, myself and Kelly went out to help Pepop pull the crabpots.  It was something we all loved to do.  Being out on the boat was always fantastic, and messing with the crabs and baitwas always a good time (we are were weird).  So we were hauling pots and the lines were covered with tenticles.  Since the palms of your hands are too think to get stung, it wasn't a big deal.  Unfortunately it was hot, and we were sweating, and Ty rubbed his eyes as they were burning with the salt.  It didn't take long for his eyes to be stung.  He couldn't see, he was freaking out.... Pepop headed back to the house where Memom tried to tend to Ty.  We were quite fascinated with what she might do.  Sprinkle tenderizer directly in his eyes?? 

He ended up going to the Rescue Squad.  Ty was always going to the Rescue Squad but that's something for another post. 


  1. Wow, never heard about the meat tenderizer solution. Some of the old remedies we know of include, well, urine. Seriously. But I never tried that one myself. Last year at Blog Fest, one of the girls was stung, and her mother applied some of said antedote and it seemed to work. Go figure.

    p.s. Been to Sting Ray Point many times, though not to swim. We used to fish right off from there many moons ago.

  2. CBW- Yes, I've heard pee does the same thing. Same concept, something in it neutralizes the venom. I don't think I could pee on anyone or let anyone pee on me. Then again, back in the day, I might have liked grossing out my cousin and peeing on him- but that's my wierd potty humor talking. I'll stick with the meat tenderizer. I love Stingray Point, miss the Old Red Barn and miss swimming there now that it's a private beach, though technically if you enter via the water you are allowed to be on a beach up to the high water mark... some old maritime law still on the books. It's legal trespassing.