Grampa’s Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins

In Finland the winter is supposed to be snowy and cold. Summers are supposed to full of summer scents (mosquitoes) and birch trees swaying in the wind. It may not always be so hot but it usually is warm. It seems as if the weather is a bit confused. Last winter the American Midwest got an abundance of snow and it seemed that it got all of ours as well. Yesterday I had to pull on my wool socks. Last week it rained sleet here and snowed in northern Finland. Although it didn’t quite match the weather, my first peony bloomed last week in the sleet.

jumping hurdles with hobby horses

The good thing when the weather turns sour is that gives an opportunity to do all of the chores waiting around the house. There is one thing I have learned while in Finland. When the sun shines drop everything else and run outside. It might shine for the next day or perhaps for three weeks if we’re lucky, but one can never know ahead of time! But now the sun had decided on my behalf that the house needed to be cleaned. I definitely agreed that it was in dire need of attention. I had been feeling a bit under the weather and it showed. The windows were full of fingerprints and the walls full of smudges. There were dust bunnies in the corners and laundry all over the place. And so I started.

The children would ocassionally complain that there is nothing to do! To which I would reply that it is completely normal that life is boring at times. I had recently read an article of a well-known Finnish psychologist Jari Sinkkonen, who stated that it is healthy that children experience boredom at times. It is those times that induce them to become creative and practice creative and unstructured play. As a result of their boredom, the kids came up with the most interesting obstacle course of hurdles for hobby horses using kitchen string and soft drink bottles.

Grampa's blueberry muffins 3

In the midst of these partially gray days, I found a surprise in my inbox. I received an email from my Grampa and his Blueberry Sourcream Muffins. They were wonderfully delicious and easy. Our Isabella had two and started helping herself to a third while she still had just little bite left of the second. I think she was rather intrigued with the tulip-shaped paper forms. I used a full-fat sour cream, as the batter has no other source of fat. With a little fat, the muffins store really quite well for a couple of days, if you haven’t eaten them before then.

muffin batter

Grampa’s Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins

1 egg, beaten
2.2 dl/1 c (225 g/ 8 oz)sour cream
2 dl/just under 1 c sugar (160 g/5.5 oz)
4 dl/1 and 3/4 c flour (200g /7 oz) flour
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2.2 dl/1 c (90 g/ 3 oz) roughly chopped walnuts
4.5 dl/2 c (200 g/7.5 oz)blueberries, fresh or frozen

Combine egg, sour cream and sugar. Mix the dry ingredients and combine with the flour mixture. Fold in the berries and nuts. Drop into well sprayed muffin tin or paper forms. Bakes at 200 C/ 400 F for 20 minutes or until a golden brown and a test skewer comes out clean.

The batter may be stored in the fridge.
making muffins collage Some of the windows have been washed, walls wiped, floors mopped and laundry gathered. Today as I look out the sun came out and warmed the air a bit and the birches are in their summer glory just across the gravel road and the flower seeds and bulbs I planted this spring are coming up.

Perhaps summer is on its way afterall!

Grampa Jim’s other recipes: Almond Braid, Fresh Fruit Tart , Steam Pudding, Gramma Reeni’s Rhubarb Tart, Cranberry Cake, Cranberry Scones and Banana Cream Pie


  1. The muffins look absolutely amazing! And the psychologist is absolutely right in my opinion. I spent days in my youth at my grandmother’s house while my parents travelled. Not only did they boost my creativity (no iPad then of course), but they made me meditate in a way. I became very aware of my surroundings, the light, the sounds in that house. Now my grandmother is gone and I live in her house. I feel a deep connection to this place because of all that time spent in it, “bored” but relaxed and conscious… Great post!!!

    1. What neat memories you have of the home you now live in. So interesting to hear. I hope that someday we will have the opportunity to visit your beautiful region. And yes, I think some of my best childhood games were developed out of boredom…although I don’t really remember being bored too often…perhaps some long afternoons at times. One of my favorite games called “the Business Community” was written about here: if your interested 🙂

  2. Ah yes, I remember days of being cooped up inside when I was younger. I agree completely that these are the times when creativity is at it’s best. Your muffins look rich and delicious! Glad to hear the sun has come back 🙂

    1. I do try to encourage them to go out in all kinds of weather but if they have some ingenious game going on I don’t want to disturb! And the weather was certainly not inviting on that particular day. Made me glad for a roof over my head and a warm house! Hope you have a chance to try out the muffins 🙂

  3. Some our best (creative) games as children arise out of boredom. Your Finish psychologist has it right there. Love blueberry muffins and these look really good, and even better that there is no butter involved! Unfortunately, grey, wet, cool days always want me to curl up with a good book, so the housecleaning takes a hit. I admire that you that you use the time to chase dust bunnies!

    1. What was your favorite game as a kid that you played? 🙂 I really don’t love cleaning, but I do like a clean house and so after laying sick on the sofa for a couple of days, the increasing disorgazed state of affairs was enough motivation to start me cleaning. And I must say that I was glad that it was not sunny and bright. It would have been a tough choice to make, leave the mess for another day in order to enjoy the sun or stay inside and clean. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. No particular game, but I loved to construct things. Once it was an entire village out of sticks and stones for my brother’s toy trucks, another time an elaborate tree house in an ornamental cherry for my sister’s dolls. Once completed, I lost interest in the game, but let my siblings enjoy. Oh, and I got a sever “talking to” by my dad after hammering a few nails into the tree – used string after that!

  4. Your muffins look delicious. Like you, when the sun shines I feel I have to rush out and enjoy every moment. I think it’s so good for children to have the opportunity to be bored; it certainly makes them creative and anyway, sometimes it’s good for all of us to just sit still or lie on our backs and do nothing but daydream, even if it’s only for two minutes.

    1. Yes, I think you have it right. It is important to stop every once in a while even if it is for just a mere two minutes. My blog is way for me to do that as well, when I stop to look through things through my camera lenses and then share with others.

  5. This is a timely post for me as I just bought 2 lbs. of local blueberries and have had a muffin craving. I love the idea of the sour cream in these…and I might add a little orange zest just because. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This really made me smile, Laila. You capture so well the indoors/outdoors dynamic of childhood and great to see your kids playing – those lovely caught moments of joyful creating. Gorgeously evocative photos and I do love your little brown crowns. Sophie xx

    1. My three year-old came downstairs the other day with her play stethoscope. She wanted to give me a check-up and I was willing to play along. After she listened to my heart and lungs ever so gently she asked me very kindly if I’d like a sticker. I had been a little grumpy with the cleaning chore I had taken on as it seemed it would never get finished (it never really is done as someone has always created a mess in another corner!) But her pretend sticker just made me smile quite wide. What a sweetheart! I guess the messes shouldn’t matter too much. Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  7. Cakes with sour cream or yogurt have always been a favourite. Also my Mum used buttermilk in a lot of cakes when were young, and that works nicely to give the cake a little extra flavour that contrasts the sweetness. Lovely looking muffins you have made, and enjoy the photos too!

  8. Really delicious muffins but sleet and snow, wow!! I love using sour cream or yogurt in baked goods, adds flavor and moistness and makes a lovely crumb. Your muffins are beautiful.

    1. I know, snow and sleet in June is not exactly my favorite thing! But there are still summer months left and so there is time for everything to warm up a bit 🙂

  9. The muffins in their cute paper cases look delicious. Do you make the cases yourself? I can’t remember being bored when I was young, but I expect my mother would have another opinion about that! And if I did say I was bored, she would have replied as you have done. 🙂

    1. I found the paper forms from the store but their idea is quite simply. When unfolded it forms a square piece of paper so they probably wouldn’t be too hard to make out of parchment paper…wouldn’t that be cute! I don’t remember being bored so much a kid but I do remember that first grade seemed to last at least two years. Time went by so much more slowly. Perhaps it was partially because everyday you are learning something new.

    1. Yes, I agree…we are still waiting for the “real” summer but I’m afraid after our warm winter that it might not really arrive…oh well, we still try and do all of the things that belong to summer.

  10. Beautiful muffins! I love rainy days…I’ve been missing them in Arizona, and when I came to visit family here in Michigan it rained almost every day. Loved it!!! Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Yes, I suppose in AZ rainy days are a luxury. I don’t mind an occasionally rainy day…it gives a good reason to get things done around the house. But if it is rain for two consecutive weeks I do start hoping for the sun. 🙂

  11. Life ago the weather in my back home country was not hot at all in the summer time. Mostly the temperature was around 18 degrees Celsius. It was even cooler many times. The rain was usual for summer. This is why we as a kids greatly appreciated every single Sunny Day. By that time we did not have even TV so it was really boring to stay home full day long. I understand your children. In the summer time it is better to be outside although they have a lot of fun today at home.

    1. Where did you grow up Alexander? In Finland it is often quite typical that amongst the warm days are days that are cool and rainy. Often August feels warmer than June and when the cold front returns the summer weather comes to quick stop. Thank you so much for your comment.

      1. I am Lithuanian but all my childhood lived in Belarus. It was small beautiful country with a lot of swamps, crystal rivers, gorgeous lakes, deep forests full of wild mushrooms and berries, and fragrant meadows full of wild flowers. There are a lot of changes in this country today starting with the weather and ending with Chernobyl pollutions. Only wonderful memories from 50th and 60th warming up my heart.

    1. I thought so too. 🙂 I found them from a store called Clas Ohlson which is a Swedish store that sells all sorts of little and bigger things for the home. They even have stores in Great Britain but unfortunately not in the US. I’ve made quite a few fun little finds there.

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