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

234 comments

  1. Oooh, that sandwich looks awesome! Yum. 🙂

    My RAK: I’ve been knitting a scarf out of sock yarn for about a week, and although I really loved it, I gave the finished product to a girl from my church yesterday. She really admired it while I was knitting it, and I really didn’t need another scarf!

  2. Mine isn’t so much a random act of kindness, but initiating other RAK’s. My kids and I (I have six) cut out and decorated a large cardboard star and are calling it our “Christmas Kindness Star.” The person who has the star is supposed to perform a RAK for one of the other kids in the family. They then place the star on the bed of the person who they did the RAK for. It’s then that person’s turn to do a RAK for one of their siblings.

  3. My immediate supervisor is being deployed this weekend to Iraq for 6 months as a civilian project manager . I didn’t want him to head off without him knowing that his co-workers were supporting him. So I arranged a potluck luncheon for him so everyone could get together wish him Godspeed in his deployment.

  4. I love reading these posts! You all are so generous, and there’s lots of good ideas! I’ve donated food to the local food bank this week. Their need is up 30% with the economy in the pits.
    Also, not an RAK, but I thought of you today, Sheri. I ordered 10 lbs of boneless chicken breasts from our local butcher (first time). I picked up my package and went to pay the bill – you won’t believe it – $13.90 – Holy Cow – will be returning for more, I’m sure! 🙂 PS – should I ship some to you???? 🙂

  5. I held the apartment door for a man on my floor with a giant unruly puppy! He was very very grateful that 1) I’d help and 2) I wasn’t scared to death of the huge, extremely excited dog!

  6. Earlier in the week I was picking up some Christmas gifts at Bath and Body Works, and the woman in front of me in the check out line wanted to use a coupon, but the cashier pointed out that it had expired the week before. I had 2 coupons with me, so I gave one to her. It was $10 off of $30, and her total was only $24, so she tried to give it back, so I had to explain to her that she’d save money if she just added a $6 item, so she ran to get another candle which brought her total to exactly $30. So, she saved $4 and was happy, and even though I had planned on using both coupons, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see how happy I made her 🙂 The people behind us were getting a little restless, but I don’t really care too much 🙂 Then today, in my French class, we had to present our group projects, and one group was missing a member, so they couldn’t present, and were upset that they would have to wait until after the weekend. So, I asked them for the script and filled in for their missing member. Speaking French in front of 20 of my peers isn’t my favorite activity, but I figured that if I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t want to put it off until the next class, and I hoped that maybe seeing my RAK would inspire other people– and our teacher added a point to my semester average for it 🙂
    So–that concludes my report! Now, I’m off to read what everyone else did to collect ideas for next week 🙂

  7. So many impressive acts of kindness! The only thing I did this week was schedule my next appointment at the blood center and purchase some desserts from a fundraiser for a local animal rescue group that I adopted my last two kitties from. They are an all volunteer nonprofit group and they work long hours trying to find homes for cats, dogs, bunnies and whatever else they can handle. Keep up the great work, Two Left Paws Animal Sanctuary!!!

  8. I love reading these RAKs; they are so inspiring. Unfortunately, I’m stuck at home with a back injury, so hopefully I’ll have some to report next week!

  9. Mine is nothing big at all, I just picked up the dropped pen of a woman with a toddler and baby. I did notice that a man who was standing a bit closer to her than I was completely ignored her dropped item.

  10. It’s a little thing and mostly personal, but I played Chief Kitchen Drudge for my mom on Thanksgiving and all weekend. Mom has rheumatoid arthritis, but she still does a big, huge, traditional T-day dinner for Dad, me, my aunt and uncle, my uncle’s parents and sister, and anyone else who can come (this year it was my aunt’s daughter and her excellent new husband).

    I breezed into the house and said, “Put me to work.” I did all the prep work and cleanup for the pre-cooking on Wednesday night. Thursday, I did all of the side dish cooking and cleanup, all the table arranging and setup, all the food monitoring, the carrying to table, the drinks, the refills, and the removal (I had a small plate of cold dinner somewhere in between jumping up and down!). Then I did all of the dishwashing and leftover stowing. Even my dad didn’t help.

    I consider it the right thing to do, but Mom has thanked me every time we’ve talked over the past week (and that’s nearly every day).

    This weekend, I’ll be knitting items to be auctioned at work during our (military) organization’s silent auction. The proceeds are given to two Operation Happy Holidays families–junior-ranked military enlisted families who have trouble making ends meet. I know that the items will be sold for a good amount….we raised about $1000 total last year.

  11. This week my kids elementary school had their Secret Santa Shop. The kids get to come in and pick out little things to buy for their familys. It was a lot of fun and a bit challenging sometimes to get the kids to understand their budget. One girl came in with 2.00 and 7 people to buy for. She was very careful in choosing items. The items ended up being.75 cents more than what she had. I snuck .75 into her envelope and pretended like I just missed it the first time I checked the envelope. She was so excited to be able to buy all her family something special. There were so many kids buying for themselves first and the other people on their list last that it was refreshing to see this little girl carefully choosing small items for each of her family members without a thought of buying herself something.

  12. I gave some fingerless mitts to a friend who is always thinking of others and not herself. I also had some spare time, so I baked cookies and bread and gave them to each person that came to our church’s knitting group. These ladies knit (and quilt) so many items that they donate to others. They are truly an example to me of selfless giving.

  13. My RAK- We all know how bad traffic is this time of year. My Dr’s office is very near to a mall and busy shopping center. If you want to turn left anywhere, you’re better off turning your engine off and reading a book. Yesterday, I was having a particularly bad day and I was having a little mental road rage. (I don’t scream at people and give them the finger, but yeah, in my head, I was ranting like mad). And then I was inspired- How frustrating it is to want to turn and not one car will let you through. So I stopped, in the middle of the road. And I let the long line of cars turn. I counted 8 or 9 before I moved on, if only to shut up the many honking horns behind me. I smiled, waved in my rear view mirror, and went on my way. And you know- my car ride home was quite peaceful, and with a smile on my face.

  14. This is not about the RAK challenge, but that sandwich sounds soooo good. Except you don’t list what sort of jam you’re supposed to use in the “jam mixture”. 😉

  15. I bought a lottery ticket for the nice girl who does my pedicures. I was going to stick in on her windshield but she had already left for the day. So I brought it home and put it next to mine. I put her initial on it so if it’s the winner of the $148 million…I’ll know it was hers that won and not mine! 🙂 “Sue” who gave her WHOLE knitting bag away deserves some kind of prize! That is the ultimate sacrifice!!!!

  16. This is my weekly RAK–I always park the farthest from the door to get exercise, and grab a cart from where they don’t belong and take in to use. I did this one day, and had to walk past the teenager who cleans up the lot after all the lazy people in town. I got the biggest smile and thank you. It really made my day.

  17. Even though I was very much under the weather and could I avoided doing so, I went out in the cold and put out the trash for pick up day. (Not a big deal but a much hated task in my family.)

    Also, I think you forgot the jam in your list of sandwich ingredients.

  18. I use a walker or a wheelchair to get around at the moment as I am in severe pain (and I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of people like Elizabeth Durand above who take the time to help me out). When I am in the supermarket I use one of their motorised disabled carts to get around the shop. Yesterday whilst I was shopping a gentleman in his own motorised chair was trying to reach a loaf of bread which was slightly out of his reach. The able bodied people around were just ignoring him, so I got out of my chair to get his bread for him.

  19. I have a friend who I got hooked on sock knitting a couple of years back and she is going though one of those times we all go through where everything at home seems to be falling apart and has to be replaced or repaired. She mentioned to me that her college-aged daughter is REALLY liking Mom’s socks, and that she would be making her some soon, but would need to wait until some of the bills get paid so that she could do a little sock yarn shopping. I went home to my stash and gathered a bag of sock yarn from my way-too-big stash and gave it to her Wednesday night at church. Needless to say, she was THRILLED and I was glad to be able to share some of my stash with her!

  20. My RAK for this week:
    I stopped and gave money to the Salvation Army and also helped a wheel-chair bound person out the door after my knitting group this afternoon.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  21. I went into the local coffee shop last week for a treat and I was lucky to run into one of my son’s friends who was home from college. After we caught up for a few minutes I surprised him by paying for his latte. He was even more surprised to find out I was treating him on my birthday!

  22. I have a friend on the indie perfume boards over on Ravelry. She’s a student and can’t afford to buy herself the lovely perfume oils she desires. While this might not be a total necessity, everyone deserves to smell good! So, I ordered her a perfume sample pack for the heck of it. She’ll smell good all through the holidays!

  23. It’s the last week of classes at the university where I teach, and all of us faculty members are frazzled and crazy busy, so my RAK for the week was to compliment folks around on me on small things that I noticed, just to keep everyone’s spirits up!

  24. even though I love getting a seat on the subway (I can knit faster sitting than standing) I’m always on the lookout for older ladies to give my seat to – this week only two people took me up on the offer though…

    and this wasn’t for any one particular person, but really for the whole community – my date and I picked up a bunch of trash off the local beach while on a walk.

  25. I gave some money to the Salvation Army this week.

    This is something I do anyway, but whenever employees need to fill out insurance claims or other benefits forms at work, I fill in as much of them as I can so that when they get to my office they just need to sign the paper. It’s so much faster for me because I’m a lot more familiar with the forms than they are anyway!

    I went to lunch today with a couple co-workers, and the one guy stopped and waited maybe 10 extra seconds to hold the door for an elderly woman with a cane (as I knew he would do) . The lady was so surprised and grateful, it made me a little sad to think it’s that much out of the ordinary for elderly people to have others help them a little!

  26. I love reading the RAKs…they were inspiring last year and they are again this year! My RAK this week was giving yarn from my stash to a co-worker who had previously admired it. I had been knitting socks at work and this particular yarn was in my knitting bag earlier this year. My co-worker saw the yarn and said it was great…just her colors. She is just getting back into knitting, but had never knit socks. So Monday, I wound up the skein of yarn she liked, took needles and taught her to knit socks during lunches at work this week. She was surprised and thrilled and it made me free great! Plus this project keeps her mind off her newly “empty nest”.

  27. This was a few months back, but maybe it will inspire someone else.

    On my birthday, I was trying to think of a fun present to buy myself – I had just gotten a fairly generous and very unexpected raise the previous week, so I was going to really treat myself to something big.

    I happened to get an email that day from a charity I’d sent money to in the past, so I went ahead and clicked a few buttons and sent them something right then. Well, that felt so good, I decided to give to punch up a few of my other favorite charities and send them something too.

    I ended up giving away quite a bit more than I had been planning to spend on myself, and it felt much better than buying myself something I wouldn’t have really needed anyway. I’ve decided that giving to others will be my new birthday tradition!

  28. I took my friend’s roommates Student ID card over to her when she was in the library and forgot it (If you live on campus in college, you really can’t do much of anything without your student ID card. Including checking out books for papers due at the end of the term, aka about now). Not a majorly life changing thing, but still…

  29. I am a therapist who works with disabled kids, and squeezed another therapist’s kids into my schedule when she had to take some unexpected days off.

  30. My act of kindness was for my group of co-workers. We’ve been working really hard to get a new store open. Everyone has been working long, physically hard, hours. I went and bought everything to make a giant vat of trail mix (almonds, pecans , cashews, orange and chery flavoured craisins and real semi sweet chocolate chips). We unpacked 28 skids of accessories and 9 truckloads of furniture in 9 days. When the first vast was gone, I made another one… quick energy, protein, and a hint of delicious chocolate to keep everyone’s tempers sweet during a rough couple of weeks.

  31. A friend’s six-year-old is in the hospital. I took off of work early to drive her ten-year-old sister in to visit her (one of her parents was at the hospital, the other had to work).

  32. I made a hat/cap for a door prize for our ladies’ banquet at church several months ago. One of the ladies mentioned that her daughter who has battled breast cancer would love a hat like that in pink. I knitted her one and gave it to her mom to send to her. The sister of one of my co-workers has breast cancer and is scheduled for surgery next week. Monday I was able to give her a pink hat–she has already had chemo prior to surgery and has lost her hair. Even in Florida, it’s hard to stay warm when you’re going through cancer treatments. I’ve never had to go through this myself, and my heart goes out to my “sisters” who must suffer.

  33. I can’t believe how many RAK’s have already been posted. Loopy readers are truely inspirational!
    My RAK is this: I cleaned out my “stash” this week and realized I had a number of bulky yarns that I will probably never knit with (multiple sweaters’ worth!). Knitting on bigger needles seems to bother the arthritis that has developyed in my hands more than knitting on smaller needles does.
    So instead of selling the yarn on ebay, I dropped it all off at the local thrift shop that raises money for charity. The thrift shop usually sells skeins of yarn at $1 apiece. I can only begin to imagine the excitement that someone will get at discovering this “stash” of wonderful yarn at an incredibly affordable price. I remember finding a similar deal years ago at a yard sale and smiling all the way home. I smiled all the way home this time, too.

  34. I have a check ready to take to the food bank when I go into town tomorrow. I’ve done a few throughout the past year. It’s been fun.

  35. I love coffee, so when I stopped by Starbucks this afternoon, I picked up three $5 giftcards. I stuck notes on them inviting the finder to have a cup of coffee on me, signed their neighbor. Then I left them on the shelves in the library. I felt a little silly trying to surreptitiously leave stuff in the library, but I saw that by the time I was done checking out my own books, the cards had been picked up. This was fun. 🙂

  36. One of my favorite Bible verses is: Be ye kind, one to another” so I try to be aware and look for ways to be kind. This afternoon, I was locking up after work and someone came in late to make a payment. I went back into the office and fired up my computer again and took his payment. His insurance would have been cancelled if I had not done this for him. It only took a few minutes of my time and meant a lot to him and his family.

  37. Well, my RAK this week is for a young couple who have a 2 month old baby (their first born). The baby has been very ill in the ICN at the hospital for about 2 weeks. The young Mom has been sleeping in the hospital with her son and the Dad has been out of work for about a week now on top of that. One of those “when it rains, it pours” things I guess. They are always doing things for others out of love and kindness to include helping inner city teens without any fanfare or making much mention of what they do. My son, daughter and I bought groceries for them this week.

  38. My RAK for this week happened this afternoon. As I walked to my car after work, I noticed that the car parked next to me had a flat tire. It was 4 pm and I knew that when the owner came out at 5 she/he wouldn’t see the tire as it gets dark about 4:30 here. I went back in and had the receptionist announce over the PA so the owner could get the tire fixed before dark.

    My other RAK was surprising my 2 office mates with fingerless mitts I knitted for them to keep their hands warm as they do computer input.

  39. here’s my RAOK. monday, i had to run to walmart to pick a few things up, and found a few christmas presents for my boys as well. i hadn’t grabbed a cart, so i walked to the front of the store to do so, and found a giving tree. i’ve always taken a name from any giving trees i find, so i stopped, and looked it over. imagine my surprise to find that this one wasn’t the usual one for kids, but one for seniors. i went & grabbed a cart, then came back and looked it over. there were several interesting ones, and i almost went with one asking for books, when i found frances. she asked for paper towels and toilet paper. while she also asked for shirts and stamps, it was the toilet paper and paper towels that made me well up. (where’s my kleenex, this is getting me right now!). i grabbed that one, and bought her the biggest packs i could find, and the shirts and stamps. i hope i make her christmas a little better for it.

  40. Well, more random act of honesty. Chased down the guy who left his ATM card in the machine and drove away.

  41. Well, here’s my RAK: I was at Chik-fil-A last weekend before work and I noticed that they have a Salvation Army angel tree, so I was looking over the “wishes” while I waited to order, and one caught my eye. Before I could even think about it I grabbed it off the tree and took it home with me. I just dropped off what I bought this afternoon, and I have to say, I had so much fun shopping for her! She’s 11 and not a small kid (size 1X), so I went to Fashion Bug and got her jeans, dress pants, a sweater, bracelets, a sweatshirt, and a couple of shirts, and then I went to AC Moore and got her a bunch of beads and wire and stuff (she asked for beads and crafty stuff). I really hope she has a good Christmas now.

  42. I work in a fairly large office. This week we had a luncheon/craft sale. I knitted a nice scarf and donated it to the group that does the Alzheimers walk each year. Anyway, our receptionist had knit a bunch of dish clothes for the same cause. She admired the scarf. She’s a knitter that does a lot in acrylic and does a lot of dish clothes. My 100% wool yarn was something she drooled on. So, as I was done with the yarn, with a skein or so left, and she never had done much more than kitchen rags, the next day I brought her the yarn I had left (debbie bliss) and the book from which I got the pattern and told her to go at it…make her own yumminess. Then I invited her to our SNB. She’s really excited to get into the yummier side of our craft now. And she’s gonna teach me to make dish clothes. Every knitter and yarn has it’s place…and I want to learn her style and vise versa. It’s fuN!

  43. Here in Minnesota we’ve been seeing snow fall in substantial quantities at least once a week in the last 14 days. Last weekend I shoveled the sidewalk for neighbors on my block in the early morning. It’s a simple little thing, yet I love the idea of each of them looking out the window with a cup of hot coffee, tea, or cocoa with a smile on their faces. 🙂

  44. Walking into the grocery store I saw a woman unloading her basket into the car – I stopped and waited until she had finished and took the cart back – She really appreciated it.

  45. My RAK this week was a birthday present for my mom. She died a bit over a year ago, and on her birthday, while shopping in Target, I noticed some MP3 players on sale. She had volunteered at a Christmas store charity, and really enjoyed it. I remembered her saying how they always needed gifts for teens. I bought the last 2 of the players (and batteries) and donated them. Happy Birthday Mom–she would have really liked that. I think I will have to do that every year now for her birthday–just because.

  46. Since the middle of last month, we have taken it upon ourselves to feed our across the street neighbor who is 90. She choses to live alone and does have a son and daughter-in law but they don’t spend much time with her. Since I am 3000 miles away from my mother who is living alone right now with my father in a nursing home, I feel that if I help someone close by I know there are many people on my mom’s street looking after her. My father does get to visit for several hours each weekend but he no longer recognizes our house as a place he belongs at any longer. It is so sad seeing my parents age but it has taught me valuable lessons about how to live now and how to treat everyone around me. My Random Act of Kindness is not huge, we are already fixing a meal for ourselves, but we don’t only deliver the meal (my husband, my daughter or I make sure we take on any small jobs needed to be done around the house and we just sit and talk awhile about the various places this woman has visited in her life. Amazing person we are helping. I know this shows my daughter how I’d like to be treated when I’m in my 90s (heaven help I can live that long and finish all the socks I’ve started).

  47. My sister has found herself in an awful situation with a man she thought loved her. He lied and used her credit without her knowledge. When she found out she kicked him to the curb (Thank God!) and launched an investigation to prove what he did and get restitution. His response now is to sue her for a ridiculous amount of money. She has engaged a lawyer, and he will not win if our family has anything to do with it, but in the meantime she is beat down. She received the notice on Monday. Besides the fact that she is now paying for things he bought under her name (e.g. a car!!!!), she will have legal fees. Monday afternoon I went to the bank and got a cashier’s check and mailed it to her. She used that money to pay the initial retainer to the lawyer. We will all be helping her financially, and emotionally as well. I feel like a mother cub right now, and I am so outraged. But we are resolved, he will not win. We will fight and we will pray. I suspect my acts of kindness will center around my sister this holiday season. She’s not good at asking for help, so we will have to help her before she asks!

  48. I haven’t really done anything that I would consider special this week that i can think of. I will try harder next week.

  49. I am going to repeat what I did last year for my grandson’s nursery school class. Since many of the mothers work and have little time I volunteered to do all of the baking for the holiday party for his class and will again dress up as Mrs. Claus to come to the party and visit with the children. Last year our little guy did not know it was his Mimi who was visiting so I wonder if he will know this time.

  50. I don’t have a specific RAK to post today, but wanted to share a tradition my family has kept for years. My parents have always anonymously given money to a person in need every christmas since I was young. When my brother and I were teenagers, they started giving us each a 50$ bill in our stockings so we could do the same. It’s been fun over the years to find secret ways to give those 50$ bills away to who ever God puts in our path that seem in need. My husband, who is now part of the tradition, gave his 50$ this year to the woman who cleans his office. She sends money home to her family in South America and was going to visit them for the holidays. Anyway, just thought I’d share this great idea for a christmas family tradition that really gets at the true spirit of christmas.

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