Library hours over the Easter Weekend/ANZAC Day break

All campuses of Ara Institute of Canterbury will be closed over the Easter break. We will also be closed on Thursday 25th April to observe the ANZAC Day commemorations.

The following are the hours at our City campus, Madras Street campus.


Our Library Services at Manawa campus will be closed from Friday 19th April to Friday 26th April. Normal services resume at Manawa on Monday 29th April.

Our Library Services on the Timaru campus will be available on Wednesday 24th April and Friday 26th April from 8am to 5pm over the Easter break. Normal library hours will resume from Monday 29th April at Timaru campus.

This year is unique because Easter Weekend and ANZAC Day are separated by only one workday. Most businesses, tertiary providers and government departments will therefore be open on Wednesday the 24th April and Friday the 26th April.


The Library’s normal hours of operation at City campus, Christchurch  will resume from Friday 26th April.

From all of us in the Library, we hope you enjoy your break!

A classic Easter recipe: Easter hot cross muffins

This Friday is the beginning of the Easter holiday break, and I thought I would share a classic recipe with you. My family is from the United States and as such we often use American style recipes in our family cuisine. I have an book entitled Virginia Cookbook: Selected Recipes from Virginia’s Favorite Cookbooks, by Gwen McKee & Barbara Moseley. The book is a collection of old and new recipes taken from various sources and combined to provide a taste of typical Virginian fare. Here is a delicious Easter themed recipe I highly recommend:

Easter Hot Cross Muffins


1/2 cup raisins                                                                                                1/4 teaspoon clove (optional)

2 tablespoons orange juice                                                                          1/2 cup candied peel

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour                                                                        1/2 cup chopped dried apricot

2/3 cup granulated sugar                                                                             1 egg 1 cup low-fat milk

1 tablespoon baking powder                                                                        1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                                                                      2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon allspice                                                                                         1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
4 teaspoons orange juice


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place raisins in a small bowl. Pour juice overtop. Microwave, covered, until hot, 1 minute Set aside. Lightly coat or spray a 12-cup muffin tin or 9×5 inch loaf pan with oil. In a large bowl, using a fork, stir flour with sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt and cloves. Stir in raisin mixture, candied peel and apricots.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk egg. Whisk in milk, oil, butter and vanilla. Pour over flour mixture. Stir just until mixed. Batter will be lumpy. Divide between muffin cups or scrape into loaf pan and smooth top.

Bake in centre of preheated oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of muffins or loaf comes out clean, 20 to 25 minute for muffins, 1 hour for loaf. Remove pan to a cooling rack. After 5 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on rack. Store muffins or loaf in an airtight container and store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months.


Stir sifted icing sugar with orange juice until smooth. Drizzle over cooled muffins in a criss-cross pattern to mimic hot cross buns or spoon over loaf, if you wish.


These muffins are beautifully complex in taste, excellent treats for the Easter break. Bake some and enjoy.


Easter is coming

Easter is coming, and the last long weekend before we head into the depths of winter. The Library is closed on Friday 22nd April, open again on Wednesday 27th at 8am.

For many people in Christchurch a long weekend might seem like the perfect opportunity to head as far away as possible to escape the rubble and silt, but check out what’s on locally before you head for the hills.

Events range from traditional Easter religious celebrations….

St John Passion

to the more  unique….” a multimedia journey into the heart of Easter”

Event Finder lists various musical offerings, plus a family carnival in Richmond,  Riccarton Bush Saturday Farmer’s Market, and tours of the Air Force Museum out at Wigram, where there will also be an Anzac Day  Commemoration Service on Monday 25th April

If you are still thinking of heading out of town there is the Easter Art  Weekend at Castle Hill, or the not so arty…. but enthusiastic,  motorbike racing in Methven.

For the more musically inclined there is the Canterbury Family Festival of Music just 40mins away in the Waipara Valley. A weekend of concerts, workshops, jam sessions and a barndance.

Whatever you decide to do this weekend, enjoy, stay safe and stay warm, the weather forecast is mixed but that might be a good thing for any Easter ski bunnies out there!

The Library re-opens on Wednesday 27th April at 8am.

April 30th will see the return of weekends and late-nights as we gradually return to normal. Keep checking the CPIT website for post-quake updates

One a penny two a penny.

Hot cross buns!

Despite being in the supermarket since Christmas, hot cross buns have a long standing connection with Easter

Traditionally eaten on Good Friday the cross is seen to represent the crucifixion.  However as with many other christian traditions, historians believe that they actually predate Christianity.  According to Wikipedia crossed buns were eaten by the Saxons as a tribute to the goddess Eostre  with the cross representing the four quarters of the moon.

Christian? Saxon? at least we can all agree that they are yummy.  But don’t buy them from the supermarket, bake your own.  The following recipe was provided by a library staff member, we all tested them this morning at morning tea and they were great.

Julie’s Hot Cross Buns (makes 16 buns)

Mix and froth: 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of hot water, 2 tbs sugar and 1tbs yeast (or Surebake equivalent)
Add 2 cups of flour
Cream together: 100g butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar
Add: 1 egg, 1½ tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla, 1tsp nutmeg, 1tbs mixed spice and 1½ cups of dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currant)
Add: Aprox. 2 extra cups of flour.
Make into buns to rise.
Cook in a preheated oven at 220°C for 10 minutes followed by 180°C for 5 minutes.
Glaze when cooked with 2tbs of golden syrup and 1 tbs of water (mixed together)


If you like baking then check out some of the baking books in the library including books on French baking, sugarless baking and Maori baking.