entertainingFood & Drinkoutdoorstudio choowe like it wild

we like it wild: citrus and rosemary

by Grace Bonney

In honor of the new year we’ve decided to redouble our efforts to use locally grown flowers and produce in as many as arrangements as possible. This week was the perfect week to get started again: a little bit of rain and a little bit of warm sun meant that the fields have been pushing up new blooms all over our favorite local flower farms. Thanks to Northern California’s mild seasons and fertile soil, we’re blessed with amazing fruits and flowers throughout the year.

During the wintertime California’s citrus fruits reach their peak meaning that we have a huge assortment of bright and tasty oranges, tangerines, and clementines to add some zest to our arrangements and our plates. While shopping the market we came across an oft overlooked member of the citrus family, the kumquat, and decided to make these little guys one of the featured players in this week’s post. Alongside some farm fresh ranunculus and rosemary from our backyard, we’ve put together a few ideas that are both fanciful and fragrant.

Rosemary and citrus seem to go hand in hand. Rosemary’s pine scent compliments the clean and fresh sparkle of the citrus’ bouquet. Winding and weaving a few long switches of rosemary together makes a perfectly sweet-smelling nest to protect a few choice kumquat “eggs” on the dining table. Similarly, rosemary and kumquats are the perfect pair when added to bouquets and boutonnieres of citrus-colored ranunculus, leaving marvelously subtle smells in their wake.

Of course, there were so many lovely members of the citrus family calling out to us at the farmer’s market, we couldn’t leave anyone behind. We gathered a good armload to make some of Alethea’s Four Fruits Marmalade. The recipe is after the jump below!

CLICK HERE for the rest of studio choo’s post and the full recipe for their four fruits marmalade!

Four Fruits Marmalade

Juice and flesh from 2 blood oranges
10 thinly sliced kumquats (discard ends)
Juice and flesh from 1 large grapefruit
Juice and flesh from 2 Meyer lemons
2 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water

1. Remove rind from all fruit with a vegetable peeler. (Set aside small piece of rind from all fruits to add in later)
2. Remove all of the white pith from the fruit. If left on this will make your marmalade very bitter!
3. Very thinly slice reserved rind into strips.
4. Add all ingredients including juice to a non-reactive (no metal) saucepan.
5. Bring to a boil and simmer until mixture begins to thicken about 45 minutes.
6. Once mixture has become thick and has been reduced by a third remove from heat and transfer to a heat-proof bowl and chill, covered, until cold, about 2 hours.
7. Marmalade will keep for two weeks, covered and chilled.


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  • These are gorgeous little bouquets. Too bad there is little growing locally in MN at the moment (and never citrus).

  • Those blood oranges look so yummy! What a way to brighten a cold winter day.
    Love the textures in the bouquet as well, bet it smells even better though!

  • How totally wonderful and amasing – here in the Northern Scandinavia we have a winter colder and snowier than in decades. So thank you for the orange-sunshine spread over the oceans today through this 10-p blog!
    Anna Bjornstrom, Sweden

  • thank you for week after week of beautiful, original ideas!! i love this!

    am thinking of how to incorporate sage into a citrus-y arrangement now…

  • thank you for week after week of beautiful, original ideas!! i love this!

    am thinking of how to incorporate other herbs like sage into a citrus-y arrangement now…

  • oh how I long to live in California… and long to eat that beautiful marmalade, what a gorgeous colour…
    thanks for adding a little zest to my day ;)

  • How beautiful! I absolutely love the rosemary nest and the little lemon “eggs” — I can practically smell that photo. Thank you for such a lovely and inspiring post!

  • so charming!! especially the kumquat nest. such a fun idea. your designs are always lovely…

    i have been craving marmalade lately, so might just have to give that recipe a try!

  • Can you give us a how to for the rosemary birds nest? would make a lovely centerpieces for my wedding!

  • Your creations always hit the perfect note. I wish my computer was scratch and sniff, but I think I can already smell the photos. Thanks for all your gorgeous inspiration and cheer, always perfectly executed!

  • OMG – I’m throwing a party to celebrate a BIG birthday tomorrow night and have been struggling with the flower arrangements. I knew I wanted to do something with citrus (we have mandarin and lemon trees ready to be picked in our garden), but the flowers at the market were just too sad looking. Matching with rosemary is genius and I’m lucky – I have a garden full (+25 plants). Yea!

  • While this doesn’t go with the whole ordering locally thing, I’d love to plan DIY flower arrangements like this for my wedding next December–in Detroit (locally grown flowers in December aren’t really an option in any case). Some quick google-searches show that I couldn’t order them on branches due to regulations. Any ideas for replacement fruit to include, or other ways of showcasing this combination?

  • Your photographs are always SO lovely! However do you do that?!? And I’m loving that bouquet. It’s so perfect. Thanks for this post. It really cheered me up.

  • This post made me so happy. I just had blood oranges in a salad tonight and now I have some great ideas for other ways to use them. Thank you!

  • oh these arrangements are beautiful… I’ve got to try some of these soon. You ladies always have such lovely ideas and you make them seem so practical. So funny that the theme is citrus and rosemary. What a lovely combo, today my friend posted a recipe for rosemary lemon shortbread that I’ve got to try… Maybe I’ll do both!

  • Sarah- you might want to check in with a local florist and see if they are able to special order any for you. You could also use small skewers or wire to place single fruits or small clusters in your arrangement. Feel free to email us if you have other questions :)

  • Studio Choo, Thanks for the response… I’ll see what I can find out but might be emailing you later!

  • I would like to have seen these colors on walls instead of food. I would also like to do my beadroom suite in a soft gray , with white trim. Any pictures you could show me?