There’s this camp. A camp in Iowa. A camp tucked away, surrounded by miles and miles of corn fields. A camp called Hidden Acres. I have a lot of fond memories there. I never attended the camp in the typical “summer camp” sort of way, but the Mission that my parents served with hosted what they called “Re-Entry Camp” there every year. It was a week set aside specifically for all the missionaries and their kids coming back to the States from overseas; a week to debrief and prepare for life in America. For some, it was a transition into what would now be their permanent place of residence, and for others, it was just temporary—just for a year or two.
The summer before 4th grade is the first time that I remember Hidden Acres. It was a week filled with fun activities, games, music, and connecting with other MKs (Missionary Kids) in a way that only Third Culture Kids can. I got to room with the other girls my age in a rustic cabin in the woods. We got to play at the lake daily, canoeing, swimming, and springing people as high into the air as possible from The Blob. What fun it was! That camp helped ease me into what would turn into two years in the States before we headed back overseas.
Five years later, the summer before my freshman year of high school, my family, again, returned to the States. We spent another fun week at Hidden Acres. I got to meet some new MKs but also got to reunite with old friends from five years earlier. We had just as much fun in the lake, played tons of soccer, and had a lot of deep, meaningful conversations, talking about our past years abroad and fears and apprehension about the big move Stateside.
Four years later, we did it again, but this time, I was coming “home” permanently. Our leaders helped prepare me for college and living as an “adult” in my passport country—a country in which I had spent so little time. I was so naïve. So nervous. So unsure. I had very little idea of what life was going to be like, but I’m am grateful for the time that they invested in me.
The last time that I was at Hidden Acres, it was the spring of my junior year of college. The camp graciously let my parents book the main lodge for a reunion with all the kids that used to live in the dorms with us in Cameroon. It was over Easter break. So many of my wonderful “hostel siblings” came from all over the place. We picked up where we left off. We laughed together. We sang together. We cried together. We prayed together. We fellowshipped together. We cooked together. We ate together. It was short but oh, so sweet.
So, what does all this have to do with food? Well, as most of you may remember, Camps aren’t really known for their food, but let me tell you, Hidden Acres had the BEST orange dinner rolls! They were sweet, sticky, and hit the spot every time! I’m not sure exactly how they made them but decided to try my hand at it. Guys, they turned out so yummy! Give it a try! They’re a delicious dinner roll that pairs well with pretty much any main meal. Enjoy!
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Orange Sticky Rolls
Time: 2 ½ – 3 hours
Yield: 15 Rolls
- 1 cup warm Water (240 mls/240 grams)
- 1 TBSP Yeast (10 grams)
- ½ cup plain Yogurt (135 mls/~ 250 grams in weight)
- 1 ½ TBSP Vegetable Oil (23 grams)
- 1 ½ TBSP Sugar (19 grams)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 ½ -4 cups All-Purpose Flour (~600 grams depending on the type of flour you are using and the runniness of your yogurt)
- ¼ cup Butter, Melted
- 1 large orange, zested and juiced (~1-2 TBSP of zest and ~ ⅓ cup of juice)
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Start with ½ a cup of warm water and add your yeast to it. Stir it well and set it aside for about 5 minutes to bubble and froth.
Meanwhile, in a separate, large bowl (or your KitchenAid mixing bowl), pour the remaining ½ cup of warm water, the yogurt, oil, sugar, and salt. Use a whisk to mix it all together.
Once the yeast/water mixture has sat for about 5 minutes, add it to the bowl and give it another whisk so that it’s all evenly mixed.
Gradually start to add the flour, mixing as you go, until you have a nice ball of dough. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes, adding small amounts of flour, as needed, if it’s too sticky. You want the dough to spring back at you when you gently poke your finger into it.
After kneading, grease a large bowl and place the dough in it to rise. Cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for about 1 hour to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, zest our orange and get as much juice out of it as you can (you want to have close to ⅓ cup, though the exact amount isn’t that important). Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until you have a spreadable/pourable glaze that doesn’t have lumps in it. You may need to adjust the powdered sugar a little. Add more if it’s too runny, or if it ends up too thick, add a little more juice or water to it.
When the dough has fully risen, punch it down.
Divide it into 15 equal parts, and roll each part into smooth balls.
Grease a 9 x 13 pan (like this one!). Place the dough balls evenly in the prepared pan. I like to do 3 wide by 5 long.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the dough rise for about 15-20 minutes while the oven preheats.
Just before putting them in the oven, melt your butter and brush it generously over the dough balls. Some of it will run into the bottom of the pan—this is good!
Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown in color.
Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle the glaze over the baked dough, and return the pan to the oven for 2 more minutes.
Take the finished bread out of the oven and let it cool for a bit. Serve warm with any main meal you wish.