Random Acts of Kindness, Week One

Time for reporting in! Remember our December challenge/contest – you do a random act of kindness during the week and then you share it with us via your comment on today’s blog. I know it feels weird to report something that you did out of the kindness of your heart and not for any “glory”.  But I can’t tell you how many people emailed me last year to say they were “so motivated by the comments on the RAKS, that they went out and did xyz as a random act for someone else.” The purpose of sharing them here is to 1) encourage others to go out and do likewise, 2) to give others new ideas to try, and 3) to get your name in the drawing for the weekly prize. (Ok, #1 & 2 are the main reasons.) I’m looking forward to reading about your week.  We’ll do the drawing on Monday for this week’s winner. (If you didn’t commit an act bless someone with a random act yet, you still have time. You can leave comments up until the time I write Monday’s blog and draw the winning name.) And remember – we’re doing these each week in December, so I hope you’ll be ready to share another one on next Friday’s blog.

Today’s recipe is my favorite sandwich. I have tried different variations of this recipe, and this one, with the combination of toasting the bread and baking the sandwiches, is definitely the best.  Enjoy!

Monte Cristo Sandwich (not a diet version, but ohhh, so good)

4 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 Tbl. Dijon mustard
8 slices white sandwich bread, slightly toasted
8 slices provolone or swiss cheese
4 slices cheddar cheese
8 thin slices deli ham
8 thin slices deli turkey
Raspberry Jam
Vegetable Oil
Powdered Sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Whisk eggs, cream, sugar, salt, dry mustard and cayenne in a shallow dish.  Stir jam and Dijon mustard together in another small bowl.  Spread 2 tsp. of the jam mixture on 1 side of each slice of toast. Layer on top of 1 slice of toast:

1 slice swiss/provolone
2 slices ham, 1 slice cheddar
2 slices turkey
1 slice swiss/provolone

and then top with another piece of toast, jam to the inside. Make sure that the meat and cheese are trimmed to fit inside the bread. Press down lightly to make it all stick together.

Pour 3-5 Tbl. oil into a rimmed baking sheet and preheat in the oven for about 5 min. (Just until it starts smoking lightly.) While it is heating, dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, making sure it is covered with egg on the top, bottom, and all 4 sides. Set on a plate until the baking sheet is ready.  Transfer the sandwiches to the hot baking sheet when ready, and bake until golden brown on both sides (about 4-5 minutes per side.) Sprinkle each sandwich with powdered sugar and serve immediately with extra strawberry jam.

Sheri ImadethoseoverThanksgiving&nowIwanttomakethemagain


  1. My RAKs were to bring up my grandparents-in-laws newspaper up to the door when I was walking to work, and at a church craft fair, I left my change from a snack I bought as a donation. Also, at work, I prepared a mutual area for my co-worker, so everything was laid out for her and she wouldn’t have to find her things when she came in. I also helped some of my extended family with a crisis, but I don’t think that is very “random”.

  2. Gee my RAK are more than one, umm I am knitting dishcloths fr a friend, she asked for 3 and i managed to get 5 large ones done. I cleaned house for my lder gf son…his wife left him for good not only leaving him with thier twins ag 4 but two of her children as well (actually they dont want t be with her) He works full time s little time i left to keep the house clean. It was fun his eyse just lit up. I know there are more but i dont remember them right now.
    Hey cool recipe, will have to try it some day. In Mother Earth News Dec issue there are some stir yeast bread recipes for artisan style bread. I made some with my little friend age 5 whom I babysit, and it is so easy even if you think you cant you have to try them out. The unbleached white flour one tastes like french or italian bread yum.
    My yarn is in my yarn is in, now to be patient and wait until tomorrow to be able to put money on my visa. THen some more projects will get done yah.
    I love December as an excuse to give gifts and bake alot.

  3. I had a very large order at the grocery store last week and with only a few registers open and the lines growing, I let the the 2 people behind me with young children in tow go ahead of me…..both were very appreciative of not having to wait to purchase just a few things………

  4. Since last year, I have been doing the same RAK each and every time I go to the vending machine. I always use a dollar and leave the change in the machine for the next person to find.

    I also work on a busy street and at 5:00 there is always a line of traffic. I make sure to let at least 3 cars go that are trying to cut across traffic.

    Great ideas.

  5. My RAK is a minor one … I tried really hard this weekend to help my mom out with the housework more than usual. I’m home for break, and she doesn’t get tons of help usually, and she’s currently under a lot of stress. So I did more than she asked me to and took out the garbage, etc. even though it was super cold out.

    Also, I finished a scarf for a friend whose been wanting one for ages. I’m going to stick it in the mail to him (he lives on the west coast) to surprise him for Christmas.

    Seeing everyone’s RAKs has given me lots of good ideas for this coming week!

  6. I donated to my son’s school’s food drive for our local rescue mission. Our local shelter has to serve about 850 meals a day, and my donation was for that cause.

  7. All year I collect my loose change and at the end of the year turn it into “real” money and donate it to our local food bank. This week I also added the bills (money — not what I owe) from my wallet.


  8. This year my family and I are on a mission to domesticate however many they can from a feral cat colony that keeps dropping off kittens under my parent’s deck at home, and trap, spay/neuter and release the rest. So far we’ve gotten 11, 9 of which are still in the house and my mother is trying desperately to socialize the latest group of kittens which are 3 two-pound balls of fury so that they can be adoptable.

    My RAK is calling our local vet and subsidizing the cost of all of this spaying and vaccinating because it’s getting pretty out of hand, and I really believe in what they are doing.

  9. Okay, this may not qualify (for reasons which are made clear later), but I’m putting it in here anyway.

    My office has a kitchen, which is not maintained by the cleaning staff (not their job). Someone(s) can be very sloppy with their use of the sink: Leaving dirty dishes there for days, leaving soup chunks in the strainer over the weekend, etc. Each week, I clean out the sink, not just for myself (who deserves a clean sink), but for all those who do NOT leave garbage to fester in the drain. This is my act of kindness for those who are behaving well. For the others who have anonymously caused the problem, I throw out all the crap in the sink. Including the dishes.

  10. My husband and I are blessed with a fairly good healthcare plan and our copays are fair. My MD (also a good friend) has chosen to work for a community health care group and so I followed her there as her patient. I am meeting some of the kindest and most
    caring people,staff and patients alike. I was in for my every three month check up
    Hypertention with meds- and a man walked in wanting to see a doctor. He was a
    patient,but was running a tab and I found out he couldnt see an MD unless he cleared
    up his account. I heard the amt mentioned-it was large to him but so minimal to me..
    and he looked lousy-so as he was leaving,I went up to the receptionist and told her I would pay,if she did not tell him.People have their pride.
    She called after the man and told him there was a clerical error and to take a seat.
    I paid and received the receipt so they could not charge him again and watched as they cleared his account.
    Maybe I’ll do it again on another visit…

  11. My step-father-in-law who has always made fun of my knitting and spending time to knit something that could be purchased cheaper at the store has cancer. I used some of my softest yarn in a color that he likes (versus the green which he hates) and knit him a chemo cap. He will be starting chemo in a week. This makes the 553rd chemo cap that I have knit.

  12. I work at a comic book company and I usually carry a couple of comics around in my purse (especially comics suitable for kids) and last week I met up with an old family friend and pulled a couple of comics for his 10-year-old son (featuring his favorite charactres). I just got a lovely thank you note in my email and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

  13. This could be thought of as a Random Act of Kindness, but for me, it was more like a Random Act of DoingTheRightBecauseIHaveTheMeans. Yesterday, whilst I was at the grocery store, a woman in front of me watched with obvious concern about how high her total was. She was taking things off the counter that she couldn’t afford…not luxuries, certainly, but necessary things. As she got to a certain amount, she asked the cashier to stop scanning what was left. I interrupted, asked the cashier to ring in everything and scanned in my credit card to pay for her groceries. The woman protested, but I insisted and paid for the woman’s groceries. She gave me the tighest hug I’ve had in a LONG while. The RAK was her making me feel like I made a difference in her family’s life.

  14. I don’t know if this counts or not, but just thought I’d share. On Saturday, I was at the gas station and someone was trying over and over again to start their car and it would not start. I felt bad for them because it was so cold and windy and I couldn’t imagine being stuck somewhere that day.

    I was sitting in my car about to leave and thinking “I wish there was something I could do to help them”, but I didn’t know what I could do. So, I decided to just stop and say a quick prayer “God, please let their car start” and, I’m not kidding, the next time they tried to start their car, it started. It kind of gave me chills, but I just said “Thank you, God!” and drove away. I’m not an overly religious person, but I have faith and prayer really does work sometimes!!

    I hope to have a better RAK next week!

  15. Normally I wouldn’t say anything but for a chance to win wollmeise yarn, I’ll spill the beans. I shoveled my neighbor’s sidewalk this morning.

  16. I bought some kitchen supplies to donate to our local Campus Kitchen project – it will make it easier for them to make applesauce from next year’s gleaned apples from local orchards.

  17. I don’t know if this counts, but I don’t sew and I made quilt blocks to donate to family who’s father died the Monday before Thanksgiving. A friend is trying to put quilts together for all 5 kids plus the mom. I also sent along a finished top that I had that I knew would never be more than a top in my house. g

  18. Not too late, I hope. Helped an online friend who was having problems downloading a winter screensaver for his computer. I downloaded it and put it into a compression form he could access, then emailed the file to him. Mac users tend to stick together.

  19. I let someone go ahead of me in line for coffee so she wouldn’t miss her train. Not original, but she was very grateful!

  20. My co-workers and i went and visited a children’s shelter which houses foster and troubled children in our county. They had some wishes that the kids wanted for Christmas and said we could take some of them. I took all of the wishes and helped organize and motivate people to donate to the cause of these chidren. So far we only need a few more gifts to fullfull all of the wishes. Feels good to know some children that might have not received a gift during the holidays will now have “that one gift they wanted”. In fact after work I need to find a Jonas Brothers & Britney Spears poster… anyone have any ideas where I can find them??

  21. There are so many things I do year round and don’t think of as RAKs….until I read this thread! *smile*

    The most current RAK-ish gesture occurred on Ravelry’s Karma Yarn Swap group. A gal I didn’t know saw a pattern she loved but didn’t think she could knit herself. Someone suggested she could claim the pattern and have someone else knit it up for her. I was reading and thought the pattern looked fun…and I offered to knit it up for her. The pattern just arrived today and her yarn is coming soon. I had offered some of my stash of yarn, but she had one in mind. There’s no deadline and I’m swamped with Christmas knitting I’m behind on. In a perfect world, I’d get this out to her in time for her late-December birthday (ha!). But she’s so excited to have this knitted up for her. To me, it’s a small thing to do (and now that I’ve seen the pattern, *really* simple to knit!), but to her it’s a big deal.

    I’m also knitting a square or two for a blanket being created by some other Karma Yarn group knitters/crocheters.

    Is it just me, or are crafters genuinely generous all year round? Reading this thread is just proff of my theory! *smile*


  22. My siblings and I do not exchange Christmas presents…and haven’t in a long time. My sister marked a scarf as a favorite on Ravelry, so I’ve knit it for her for Christmas. In addition, I have a friend who lost her mother several years ago and always thinks of her mom when she sees ladybugs. I found a present for her that involves ladybugs…I know she does not expect a present…but I had to get it for her when I saw it. Those are my RAKs so far. Some of the other RAKs have brought me to tears – hats off!

  23. My RAK is, perhaps, not quite so random… I knew my auntie had some Rain Checks that she’d gotten from Target for some certain wireless mouse that had sold out a few weeks ago. However, she wasn’t able to actually buy the mice, because the store near her place was always out of stock of them. In the end, she had to leave for the Philippines without them, and she was awfully sad because she’d meant to give them to her friends back home for Christmas.

    Enter me, living in my auntie’s apartment this past month. Well, I found the Rain Checks on her desk after she left, and I figured, “Hey, I’ll get them for her.”

    …one week, four Targets, arguments with half a dozen “new service personnel” who clearly didn’t have a clue what they were supposed to do with me, a good number of miles on my car, and the entire Audiobook of Twilight later, I finally have her mice! I haven’t gotten the chance to tell her yet, but I hope her friends really like them!

  24. My boss gave me her credit card so that I could pay for her lunch and mine when I picked it up. I didn’t use her card. I used mine. She likely won’t figure it out for weeks!

  25. We have an angel tree at my kid’s school. My son reminded me this morning that the presents are due back to school, wrapped, on Friday. I was in a meeting with other mom’s this morning and reminded them of this. I told them that I was going to Target and to give me the items they needed. I would pick them up, wrap them, and bring them to school.

    So, I now have a car full of presents that me and my son will wrap and return to school so the other mom’s didn’t have to make a trip into town for one or two things (we live out in the country).

  26. My RAK began last week and finished up this week. I took my bosses wife to the hospital for hand surgery last week and then took her back to her doctor’s appointments this week. I think I qualify for the above and beyond type of secretary.

    It felt really good to be on the giving end this time. I had cancer this past year and am cured. It was great to not be the patient for once!

  27. I was just relishing how great it feels to drive on my 4 new tires. Today I walked to the end of a freezing garage today to my car. I was already very late for an important medical appointment across town. I was really feeling the pressure to get in the car to warm up and to my destination. Then I noticed that the car parked next to mine had very low tires. I pressed on one tire with my thumb. It easily gave way to the pressure. I didn’t have a pen so I used my lip pencil (I know- how does that reinforce the stereotype!) to write a note about the tires to the driver and I placed under the windshield wiper of the car. I kept thinking that that they could have a very bad accident on the icy roads with low tire pressure. I didn’t think about it again until I read of such kind and compassionate RAKS in everyone’s entries.

  28. Sheri ~ How much jam do you use for the mustard/jam mixture? I don’t see it in the ingredients, but it IS referenced in the instructions.

  29. My RAK this year is to bring my brother home for Christmas. He has been estranged from my mother for several years and with the help of his new girlfriend, we have convinced him to come to her house on Christmas morning. She’s been missing him a long time but just couldn’t bring herself to call him, thinking he wouldn’t be ready to talk to her. So I am bringing him to her on Christmas day as a surprise. It’s the first time that all of my siblings will be together with our mother on Christmas Day since before I left home for college (17 yrs now).

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