Mother-daughter duo wins Harvest in a Hurry category in HPJ cookbook

Karen Krehbiel Dodson and Brittany Krehbiel Hukill, a mother-daughter team from Hydro, Oklahoma, were the category winners for HPJ’s recipe book category, Harvest in a Hurry—which includes meals that can be made in 30 minutes or less and are perfect for harvest. Dodson, the matriarch said she did not grow up on a farm, but married a farmer. Originally, her mother-in-law took meals to the field and when Dodson got off work, she would help out. Eventually that progressed to her mother-in-law cookingand Dodson delivering the food. Then Dodson became the primary cook. She said becoming a farm wife was not an easy transition.  

I grew up in a different area, so I didn’t know any of the people or the farm names,” she said.It’s definitely a different atmosphere where the whole family is involved instead of just having your own career. And it’s all handson deck when it’s harvest season or planting time and you just pitch in wherever you’re needed.  

Hukill learned to cook from her mother and grandmother, but she also learned all about farming from her father and grandfather. Tragically, Hukill’s father passed away in 2011 from brain cancer; she was a sophomore in high school. Prior to that time, Dodson had been mostly hands-off on the farm. When her husband became ill, she took on a new role and started driving the combine, tractor, grain cart and helping her father-in-law farm the land he once farmed with his son. Hukill, who taught her mother how to run the equipment, had been working on the farm since she was big enough to see over the steering wheel. When she went off to college, Dodson continued to farm, but in 2016, Hukill’s grandfather passed away, leaving the mother and daughter with Krehbiel Farms. Hukill graduated from college and returned to the farm fulltime. It was decided that Dodson would step back from manual labor and focus on cooking, being a grandmother and keeping the books for the farm. Although Krehbiel Farms employs some workers, Hukill runs the combine, planter and makes the farming decisions.   

The mother-daughter duo’s winning recipe is called Krehbiel Spanish Rice and it is a special dish because Dodson’s late husband taught her to make it.  

I always have all the ingredients on hand and it’s easy for the first day of harvest because it always kind of sneaks up on you,” Dodson said.Now it’s tradition to have that during the first meal of harvest. The starch in the rice holds heat well, and it doesn’t have to be super-hot to taste good. 

As for the nostalgia associated with harvest, Hukill said she has fond memories at this time year of special people that shaped her lifebut are no longer here. 

I’m very appreciative of the years I got to spend with my dad and grandpa in the combine,” she said. “There’s not much I wouldn’t give to be able to share a field with them or to make loops behind them in a second combine, but that’s not an option. You have the memories of the years before and the generations that are in the combine change.  

Hukill said if she could give a newly married farm wife any advice, she would tell them to recognize the stress their partner carries every day.  

“I’m a wife and I farm, but I don’t consider myself to be a farm wife because my husband has the off-farm job,” Hukill explained. “As a farm wife enters into a marriage where your spouse is going to be making all those decisions, I think it’s important to be supportive even if you don’t quite understand. There’s a lot of times I tell my husband or even my mom, it would be nice for someone else to have to make the decisions of what to plant, when to spray and how to make all the ends meet. For me, I don’t even have generations before me to ask questions.” 

Right now, the future of Krehbiel Farms looks bright with a mother and daughter steering it toward success and Hukill is proud to carry the farm through another generation. 

The last couple weeks my dad was alive, we went to visit him in the nursing home and he looked at me and said, Are you going to come back?’ and I said, Yes, we’ll be back to visit.  

He looked at me again and said, No, are you going to come back?’ He was asking if I was going to come back to the farm because I’m an only child. He was asking if the farm was going to fall apart when he died. I had already decided I was going to return to the farm and I told him so. 

Hukill said her parents never pressured her to return to the farm and instead let her make the decision for herself and she plans to treat her children the same way.  

If they want to do it, I will support them, but if not, it’s okay to walk away. I never want the generational legacy of our farm to be a burden for my children. This isn’t something you can be forced into and thrive. If you don’t want to be here, it’s not worth doing. But I would love to see them farm, because in a throw away culture, a 5 or 6-generation farm means a lot.  

HPJ cookbooks can be purchased at 

Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected]. 

Krehbiel Farms Spanish Rice

From the Kitchen of: Karen Krehbiel Dodson and Brittany Krehbiel Hukill

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Farm Wives from Hinton, Oklahoma

Servings: 6-8

Total Time: 30 minutes


2 lbs. ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 -2 cans of diced tomatoes, not drained

2-3 cans 8 oz. tomato sauce

2-3 cups of minute rice

Garlic Powder

Salt and pepper to taste


In a 6-qt pan with a lid, brown the ground beef with the bell pepper and onion. Season with salt and pepper. If there is a low amount of grease, retain for flavor. If there is a lot of grease, drain some off before you add the rice. Stir uncooked rice into the meat and allow it time to absorb the grease and brown a little. Add a little more salt and pepper (the rice takes quite a bit), garlic powder, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer until rice is tender, about 5 minutes. Use enough tomato sauce to keep the dish “fork stable” in a strong Oklahoma wind.