Lady Flo’s Pumpkin Scones

Lady Flo’s Pumpkin Scones

From an early age, I knew I wanted to cook. My Nanny used to belt out the most scrumptious delights. The smell of the kitchen with biscuits, cakes, jam doughnuts cooking was euphoric! You could smell it down the road. I loved that street. 89 St Aubins St Scone. Mrs Brennan’s house across the road would be the same. She’d constantly have cakes on the bake. Between Nanny’s and Mrs Brennan’s, you knew something good was happening.

My Mum followed suit. She could rustle up a massive feed every day of the week, even if there appeared to be no food about. She was like David Copperfield the way she made shit appear. I loved eating Mum’s food. Even more so cooking with her.

Dad was a miner and a steak and 3 veg guy. He was a gun at putting down a hangi, whipping up a boil up, but boring as fuck when it came to everyday meals. We all couldn’t wait when he went to work on the afternoon shift. As soon as we saw that car hit the driveway, we’d listen to hear the car hit the main road a kilometre away, and as soon as that happened, boom! it was on. Preheat the oven…

Now that Dad was out of the picture we could experiment. Not that we had a tonne of ingredients, but we somehow found something to make that would taste delightful with a cup of tea or milk. Mum always said to me as we stood looking into the seemingly empty cupboard: “Stibby, while ever we have flour, water and an egg, we won’t starve” … How right she was

Ahhh yes. Lemon biscuits and cakes. Orange biscuits and cakes. Sponges, pound cakes, pancakes, chocky cake. Each sweet creation started out a generic mix and we would work out what ingredients we had available to transform it into something else. Mum and I would sit down at the dining room table near the fireplace and look through our cookbooks and dream about giving some of the recipes a go. We used to also have those trays of recipe cards. Some of the ingredients I’d never heard of at the time, but today they are staples in my larder [love that word].

Now, one of my absolute favourites was the pumpkin scone. When I knew Dad was about to go to work, and Mum had cooked us sausages and vegetables for instance, especially when one of those veges was pumpkin, Id get my brothers to save their piece of pumpkin to go into the scone mix when the old boy was gone and make sure they kept quiet. Or if Dad got an inkling something was happening like that without him, he’d probably just eat all the pumpkin!

An hour later, we’d be tucking into those fluffy orange clouds of dough heaped with butter, golden syrup, vegemite or whatever jam we had which usually comprised of apricot, strawberry, raspberry, or plum jams. Cheese and honey, which was a bonafied favourite of my brother Rossi. If we were really lucky there’d be my favourite.. FIG! Fig jam and cream to this day is still a snack I find hard to turn away from. Funny thing was, even though we made them regularly, I knew no-one else who made them. Until the wife of a Queensland peanut farmer made them famous…

As an aspiring young cook growing up in Australia it was hard to ignore the name of Margret Fulton. She was like bacteria, in everything! With her books, she became a force to be reckoned with and she set the benchmark for so many Chefs past and present, but it was another humble woman who offered the world her pumpkin scones with love that grabbed my attention… I strangely felt I had found part of my tribe, and quite chuffed even to think that it was someone who was hi-profile.

Lady Flo’s famous recipe

I can’t remember the first time I saw Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen with her scones on TV, but I was seriously glued to the screen thinking something like “finally! There are others that exist” Instantly, Lady Flo became a culinary hero of mine. She became famous in her own right not only for her pumpkin scones but also for her take on ‘Classic Country Cooking’ ‘Traditional Australian Fare’ as the title of her book suggests. It was hearty, warm, no fuss, comforting soul food, best enjoyed with family and friends.

Right up until I was 34 years of age, I believed that everyone in Queensland ate pumpkin scones. After 13 years living in Queensland, I have to say I’m a little bewildered that I’ve met ONE person, one. Numero fuckin uno amount of people that have made them. Most had only ever had those shitty supermarket versions.

WHHHHHHAAAAAAAT!!! This couldn’t be… How could this be? Why was this so?

Bit sad really. I kind of felt like I’d waited all my life to get to Disneyland, only to find that when I finally got there it was shut down. Oh well, back to Lady Flo…

Being the wife of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, arguably one of the most prolific and controversial political figures in the 20th century must’ve been an adventure. The Kingaroy peanut farmer born in Dannevirke New Zealand who rose to power as a ruthless, iron-fisted leader that knew how to control the media. Sure he may not have like protestors or union groups. So what if he allegedly had the police in his pocket, one thing stands true about the man, he knew hard work, and he wasn’t scared of it. And whilst you can’t believe everything you read or watch in the media, to me he came across as a family man that had love and respect for his wife, regardless if his staunch exterior didn’t express it. And unlike many politicians of the 21st century, who would sell their grandmothers for a steak sanga without sauce, Sir Joh for mine was kind of like the character ‘Thanos’ from the Marvel Cineverse.

Click of the fingers, the shit disappears. Things gain order. Only the worthy will remain. Not everything may have been done positively, but he believed it was all for the greater good. Underneath the hard exterior, there was a good family man.

Still, as they say, behind every great man is an even greater woman cooking up afternoon tea

And that I imagine was Lady Flo. 1st Lady of Queensland, Queen of the pumpkin scone. A rose amongst many thorns that brought joy and unity through her love of cooking. One of my all-time food heroes and one of the few people I knew of that shared mine and my Mums love for pumpkin scones. I never got the privilege to meet her in person and share a scone with her, but like all great food heroes, I hope to get to know her a little through the recipes in her recipes.

These days if someone asks me “what’s a pumpkin scone?”… I answer them in my best Sir Joh voice

“Don’t you go telling me about pumpkin scones! I know quite well what they are:


The recipe in this blog comes courtesy of Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen’s cookbook

“Classic Country Cooking, Traditional Australian Fare”


Fried Tofu and Zucchini in Mongolian Sauce

Fried Tofu and Zucchini in Mongolian Sauce

Cooking Time: 10mins    Prep:  5mins

Serves: Family of 8 Asians / Family of 3 Aussies / 2 Maori infants

The Mongolians May have been smart enough to cease the food supplies of the Chinese. But they weren’t smart enough to stop them from taking off with their you beaut namesake sauce.

Truth be known the term Mongolian is more to do with style of cooking rather than origins.

But let me say, if this was actually a Mongolian dish, Genghis Khan may have not been such an uptight prick and smiled a lot more.

My tastebuds love this sauce. Dark, rich, sweet & thick. Good for eggs, and toast as a midnight snacky

Anyway… It’s time!

Get your work area clean, and get ready to prep your food. Like all Asian dishes.. preparation is 🔑

400g Firm Tofu diced into 3cm pieces
200g Zucchini cut into thick strips
2 tsp (heaped) minced Ginger
1 tbsp minced Garlic
1.5 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Water
1 tbsp (heaped and halved) Corn Flour
Sesame Oil for flavouring 
Peanut Oil for frying
30ml Shaoxing wine (optional)
Dash Sechuan Sauce (optional)

1. Prep your ingredients 
2. Heat the wok and get that thing 
3. In a bowl toss the chopped tofu in 
half the corn flour to coat 
4. Good glug of peanut oil about 1/2 
Cup. Get it hot hot hot!
5. Shake off excess flour and fry the 
tofu. Don’t overcrowd the wok, cook in batches if you need to. Cook till 
golden brown. Set all tofu aside
6. Dump off most of the oil leaving a 
couple of teaspoons of oil
7. Working quickly add the garlic & 
ginger keep it moving don’t burn
8. Add Hoisin & Soy and keep it moving.
If using the wine and sechuan sauce, 
put in now. Keep it moving
9. Add the water, pepper and sugar. As soon as Sauce starts to boil, reduce 
heat, give a stir and heat until sauce 
starts to thicken
10. After a few minut


Caramel Peppermint Slice

Caramel Peppermint Slice

When you serve this up at your next shin-dig, and you will, should anyone pipe up and say “ew caramel and peppermint? Together? WTF!” That’s your cue to fuck that person off and get another friend… or parent. It’s not up to you to prove that it works.

Fact of the matter is, it just does.

Silky caramel cream. Peppery hit of peppermint with a smack of chocolate that was conveniently stuck to the outside of the peppermint bar. Add that to some Tennis biscuits and more cream and you my friend will have a great excuse to ditch those close minded, sausages and mash dead weight acquaintances you’ve been carrying around for far too long… Advantage, you

Go to the shops now and get yourself

2 Packets of Tennis Biscuits or Italian  sponge biscuits
1 Can Of Caramel like Top n Fill
600ml Cream
350g Peppermint Crisps

1. Get a deep dish about 30cm x 20cm x 6cm
2. Whip cream in a glass bowl and set aside
3. In another bowl whip the caramel 
4. Crush up the Peppermint Crisps 
Not too fine. Set aside 150g larger 
shard pieces for the top
5. Fold in the other 200g of Crisps 
into caramel and give a whip
6. Fold in 2/3 whipped cream
7. Line base of tray with biscuits
8. Spoon in some of mix
9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 until none left
10. Top with cream and remaining shards of Peppermint Crisps
11. Set in fridge for 2hrs or overnight

This slice is a smash. Serve this up 
and it’ll be game set match... 

I thought I’d put that in there becauseof the tennis biscuits... I LOVE it



Watercress Spanakopita

Watercress Spanakopita

Those who know me know, that I lose my marbles around filo pastry. I love the stuff. Paper thin sheets of buttery, flakey goodness sandwiched together like paper thin sheets of buttery, flakey goodness sandwiched together.. I can imagine myself as a hobo laying on a cold park bench in winter wrapped in it, yet floating off to sleep with a happy, comforted smile.

This is my take on one of the greatest Greek dishes on this here planet, using one of my favourite Maori/Polynesian ingredients.. watercress from leftover boil up! Chur-iffic!

First things first, remember when working with filo, don’t stuff around. Never use the filo shit from any shop that’s come from the frozen section, only out of the fridge area. And, always have a damp cloth on the ready to place over filo sheets that aren’t being used so they don’t dry out.

Ok let’s hit it!

You will need:

Your favourite lasagne tray or
springform pan
Filo Pastry sheets
2 Cups Watercress from boilup. Drained and pressed over night
1 Cup Ricotta 
80g Cheddar 
100g Fetta
250g butter should be heaps
Handful of Dill
Handful of Parsley
Juice of a Lemon
Salt & Pepper

1.As mentioned before you will need to 
press as much liquid out of the 
watercress as you can, as not to make
the pastry soggy
2.Chop the Parsley and Dill and place
into a bowl with watercress, the three 
cheeses, lemon juice and a good grind
of nutmeg. Taste. Adjust seasoning with
salt and pepper
3.Mix well. Cover and set aside
4.Get your tray and cover the bottom 
with a sheet of filo pastry. 
5.Brush with melted butter.. oh yeah,
melt the butter
6.Repeat 4-6 sheets
7.Spread mix over pastry
8.Repeat steps 4-6
9.Give it all a nice little press and 
pre-cut into squares or triangles. Cut
it into any shape you want it’s your 
10.Beat an egg and add a splash of milk
for basting. Baste it with a brush
11.Cook in 180deg/C or 170deg/C fan 
forced until golden and flakey 
12.Let stand for 5-10 minutes
13.Plate up, take a few Instagram pics
and post the shit out of it!

Enjoy x