Last Lazy Days of Summer

School has been in session for two weeks now. Life has regained its order as now everyone must get up early. Although the weather has changed and nearly everyday there has been a short thunderstorm or rainfall, it still has been fairly warm. We have been madly trying to do all of the summer things one last time as soon the water will be too cold and it will be gray and drizzly. Last Sunday we had one more opportunity to go kayaking with my brother and his girlfriend. We paddled to Verla which is an old historic paper mill that is not in use. I had to admire the details of the building and thought of how many hours of work they all required. I wonder how much the craftsmen were paid and I am quite certain that they did six day weeks instead of the five that are prevalent today. Today it is a local tourist attraction and a place to host cultural events and art exhibitions.

Verla, old paper factory built in 1893
Verla, old paper mill built in 1893

verla collageThe day before school started a couple of school friends were over. The kids organized a circus show and they had at least ten performances, hand-made tickets and money with which to buy the tickets. It brought back memories of my childhood. I loved make-believe games. All of the performers were very sure of themselves and at the end of the show they informed that they would be passing out signatures. A glass jar that had been painted yellow was the microphone and it really worked. I had a grin going from ear to ear. And I definitely asked for signatures on the back of my ticket.

circus ticketsAfter the circus show we decided to head to beach. I had baked a little end-of-the-summer treat for us to take with. This blueberry cake can certainly be made well into the fall as it is not only really quite simple but perfect for those gray days that are sure to come. It also freezes well and is the perfect thing to have on hand to serve with a little vanilla ice cream. I received this recipe from a friend at least eight or nine years ago and I often come back to it, especially if I am in a pinch. All of the ingredients are ones that you most likely have on hand. I’ve made a few slight changes to the original version.

last lazy days of summer collageBlueberry coffee cake–Mustikkapiirakka
Makes a round 23 cm/ 9 inch or square cake or tart pan.

Mix the ingredients below in a large bowl with a spoon.

200 g/7 oz melted butter
1.5 dl/ 2/3 c flour
3 dl/1 and 1/3 c rolled oats
2 dl/ just under 1 cup sugar
1 dl/ 1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Remove 1.5 dl/ 2/3 c of the crumble and set aside. This will be your crumble to be sprinkled on the cake later. To the rest of the batter add the following ingredients.

2 eggs, gently whisked
1 dl/ 1/2 c flour
1 dl/ 1/2 c rolled oats

Pat the batter into a greased cake or tart tin.

3 dl/ 1 and 1/3 c berries of your choice (may be frozen)

Sprinkle with berries of your choice and sprinkle with the crumble. Place into the oven for about 30 minutes at 200 C/390 F. Use a tooth pick or test skewer to check if it is done. Enjoy by itself or with ice cream.

For an extra large cake, double the recipe and bake in an oven sheet pan with slight edges.

Katariina's Park, Kotka
Katariina’s Park, Kotka


  1. Your local tourist office should use your beach shots for their brochures! It looks idyllic. The end of summer is always a little sad so good to have such a beautiful way to enjoy it.

  2. The coffee cake looks great. The children’s circus reminded me of all the performances we used to put on for our parents. We liked puppet shows. Is your brother visiting? Or does he also live in Finland?

    1. Thank you Gallivanta…I think children around the world play similar make-believe games. My brother lives in northern Finland and came over to visit us…what a special treat!

  3. Oh I love the cake, the circus activity and the look of that building too! Sounds like you’re ending the summer in a lovely way. I am so sad it’s coming to an end… not prepared to accept it yet, somehow! x

    1. Yes, I understand the feeling. Our summer weather is clearly over now and it has been raining nearly everyday…but on a positive note, the temperatures have not dipped too low yet 🙂

      1. There are no any visual signs for now. But some feelings already is here. The day is shorter, the sun is different, the light is brighter and clearer, even the smell of air is other.
        But the colour of Nature is still like at Summer time.

  4. What a lovely way to spend one of the last days of summer. Fall is approaching fast here in New England as well. I have quarts of blueberries in my freezer and your cake sounds like a wonderful way to use some of them. I like all the oats in the recipe.

    1. I can imagine that your fall in New England is beautiful. And isn’t it a comforting feeling knowing that all of those jewels of forest are in store for the cold winter months. A perfect way to bring a little summer into the fall and winter days.

  5. We’re into the last lazy days of Winter here, so I loved this post. It has reminded me of what’s to come (although I’ve never tried kayaking, must rectify that)! That paper mill looks incredible. The view of it from across the river is just beautiful. Glad to hear it is being put to such good use. I love that your baby seems more interested in your handbag than all that lovely sand – classic baby behavior!

    1. How wonderful that your summer is just beginning…and yes you must try kayaking. I am not very experienced myself, and certainly enjoyed it as it was so peaceful and quiet. I have sometimes wondered why handbags are of such interest for babies…perhaps because they are usually quickly taken away before the car keys get lost. 🙂

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