Happy vernal equinox! This day marks the beginning of spring for folks north of the Equator, and the beginning of autumn for those down South. Back home in the US, the beginning of spring always gets me excited. After bundling up in a heavy coat for months, I start planning my cute, layered outfits with lightweight jackets. I prematurely purchase spring shoes to liberate me from my opaque tights and I look forward to wearing that odd article of clothing, like a sleeveless sweater, that only works four weeks out of the year. All that anticipation and more often than not, spring is slow to make its presence known. Then it’s gone before you know it.
Well, this is not spring as I know it now, living in Saudi Arabia. The equinox now signals an unwelcome surge in the average temperature. Through November, December and January, we enjoy cool days with temperatures in the 70s. February and March slowly tick up into the 80s. Then, by the end of March, beginning of April, we’re seeing hazy, dusty days in the 90s. And of course, this is only the beginning. At the height of the summer, it will be nothing to reach 115 degrees and it will be next to impossible to do anything outside, during the day, other than run to the car. So, yeah. Happy, not so happy, vernal equinox!
After a full year of living abroad, I’m more prepared for the hot and hazy days. This year I’m determined to get through it all in style. I’ll have an arsenal of cool drinks, like this Fennel Kiwi Cooler, to offer some dignity through all the dust. I like to think of this fennel kiwi juice as more of a mid-day relief than a morning tonic. Picture this scene. It’s a southern summer, and some very exhausted, overheated ladies in big gowns and sun hats fan themselves in a gazebo and drink this Fennel Kiwi Cooler. Or imagine it’s a scene in the Golden Girls and Blanche Devereaux brings a tray of these drinks, silk robe trailing behind her of course, out to the rest of the girls on the lanai. It’s that sort of drink.
You can also add some fizz to this with sparkling water, seltzer water or club soda, and garnish with mint for a nice mocktail.
Fennel Kiwi Cooler
- 2 green apples
- 2 kiwis
- 1/3 fennel bulb
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 lime