‘Assassin’s chili’ not for kids

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By Sandy Bond

Zane Schultz

Zane Schultz

Being a kind-hearted guy, Zane Schulz overcame a deep rooted case of ornithophobia (fear of fowl) that he held for nearly 60 years after being attacked by hens in a chicken coop at the age of three while collecting eggs on the family farm, he said, so his wife, Janie, could have pet birds.
He has even developed an affinity for Gouldin or Rainbow finch Lena and has bonded with Ozzy, their new grey cockatiel, he said.
But when he’s in the kitchen expressing his creativity at the range, watch out! Zane makes the hottest chili on the planet. “Assassin’s Chili,” he calls it, and he uses his tried and true array of banana peppers, habanera peppers, serrano peppers, jalapeño peppers, garlic, spices and onions.
He’s read the medical articles, he said, and knows that spices, onions and garlic have antioxidants; they’re good for your health.
“That’s not why I cook with them, though,” he said, “They just taste good!”
Janie has learned to tolerate some degree of spiciness, but sometime it’s just a bit too much for her. He would dearly love to host festive meals more often, he said, but has found many people just don’t appreciate his unique cooking style.
Janie ran a day care center for more than 30 years. A while ago she developed severe degenerative arthritis and was forced to abandon her daycare center.
“I was licensed for up to 12 children,” she said. “One of our neighbors once joked that our front yard looked like an airport with minivans dropping off the kids like airplanes swooping in, and then lifting off again.”
With daycare hours sometimes being erratic, Zane often returned from his job as an auto mechanic and had no qualms about starting supper.
“I’d never, ever feed them my spicy food, though, of course,” he said.
The only foodie faux pas, he said, was putting far too many onions on a pizza; with the onions liquefying as they cooked, it turned into pizza with a side of puddle!
He is very much into container gardening because, “you pull less weeds,” he said.
He likes to grow at least 12 pepper plants each year. He dehydrates his peppers for his beef jerky and chops them up in a coffee grinder dedicated for that use.
His favorite cherry tomatoes, “never even make it to the table,” he said. “They’re great to eat by the handful when I’m gardening!”
The children of Rudy and Helen, he and his sister Kaye (Snow) grew up in McIntosh where the family owned Schulz’s Café. Their mom was hired as a bookkeeper for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and his dad managed a bowling alley. Zane graduated from McLaughlin High School in 1968, and began a career as an auto mechanic.
“I was six years old when dad and I had steak and potatoes together,” he said. “Dad liked steak blood red on the inside and that’s the way I’ve always liked it ever since; I was hooked.”
Zane and Janie met at a very popular supper club at the time, The Dew Drop Inn, legendary for their steaks, he said.
The daughter of Verline and John Engle, Janie grew up in Mobridge with her sister, Janice (Roebuck) and three brothers, Gary, Gene and Dale.
After being forced to abandon further education to get a job after she was married, Janie always yearned to return to school, “to make something of myself,” she said.
After her divorce from her first husband, Janie was having trouble finding an adequate paying job to support her two children, Paul and Paula.
“Women without a formal education earn so much less than their peers with even a high school education,” she said.
Zane and Janie were friends, and dated for about four years.
“I was given the opportunity to attend a school in Montana called Mountain Plains to further my education to be a clerk-typist,” she said.
Zane had proposed marriage, she said, but she was determined to attend school before considering marriage. When she returned she was employed in Judge Simons’ office.
Zane’s artistry doesn’t end in the kitchen. He likes carpentry work, he said, and just completed an entertainment center for their living room. He makes all the picture frames that display their family portraits.
They have raised Paul and Paula, children by Janie’s first marriage, and their daughter Leasa. Paul Schneider has just opened Pauly’s Pub and Casino in Mobridge. Paula and her husband Kelly (Cape) live in Hot Springs where he has a career with Farm Credit Association.
Leasa and her husband Carl Kulm live in Pipestone, Minn., where he is a lab technician at the Pipestone Community Hospital and she teaches Spanish in a distance-learning program through the Internet.
They now enjoy watching the grandkids, Caden, 10, and Brielle, 8, develop their Godgiven talents.

ZANE SCHULTZ’S RECIPES

Cheese Buttons
Dough mix:
4 beaten eggs
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup water
Mix and let dough sit for about 1 ½ hours (covered)
Divide dough in half. Roll out to medium thickness. (1 ball at a time.) Cut out into 3 inch by 3-inch squares.
Filling:
2 containers dry cottage cheese
2 beaten eggs
Salt
Pepper
Lots of onions
Put approximately 3 heaping tablespoons into center of dough. Fold in half. Seal with fingers like making a piecrust.
Drop into:
1/2 kettle boiling salt water (or a little more)
Cook about 4 squares at a time for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat when cooked.
Drain in colander for about 5 minutes. (They can be browned in oil in frying pan before serving if you desire.)

Cucumber Salad
Whip together:
1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4  cup sugar
Add:
4 or 5 medium cucumbers (peeled and diced)
1 small onion (diced and sliced)

Assassin’s Chili
3 lbs. ground beef
1 12-oz. can black beans
1 12-oz. can red kidney beans
1 6-oz. can mushrooms
1 12-oz. can whole kernel corn
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. salt
3  Habanera peppers
1 Serona pepper
1 12-oz. can diced tomatoes or 12 cherry tomatoes  (diced)
2 cups water
Simmer for a couple hours on low; longer simmering time makes chili better!

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