During my fourteen years as an elementary school parent I’ve helped kids learn math, helped teachers correct papers, driven on field trips, led art projects – but never, until this year, did I ever step up to become Room Parent.

I know why; the primary duty of planning holiday class parties for thirty kids is no piece of cake. Especially when you’re trying to avoid serving cake, and you have no budget to speak of.

But holidays must be honored and children must be fed. I called around for help and many parents showed up with food: raspberries, grapes, cheddar cubes, hummus, Wheat Thins, chicken salad, corn muffins, banana bread, cookies, more cookies, cupcakes, and more cupcakes. I supplied the entree; wanting to give the class some semblance of a “traditional” feast, I brought a crock pot of sweet potato bisque along with my newest innovation: Thanksgiving dinner in a roll. It gets high points for being portable, healthy, fun to eat, inexpensive, and most importantly, they actually taste really good.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Lavash bread (8 slices at Trader Joe’s for 2.39)
  • Cranberry relish (6 oz jar from Trader Joe’s for 2.79)
  • Lucerne pumpkin spice cream cheese (2.19 for 8 oz at Safeway)
  • a pound of sliced turkey (7.99 at Safeway)
  • one bag fresh spinach (3.19 at Safeway)

To assemble the rolls:

  • Lay a slice of lavash bread on your counter so that the short end is parallel to the counter – I’ll call it portrait style.
  • For the first layer, spread a thin layer of pumpkin cream cheese over the entire piece.
  • For the subsequent layers, only cover 3/4 of the bread in order to make a neat roll in the end: a thin layer of cranberry relish, a thin layer of spinach leaves, and one layer of turkey.
  • Start at the end closed to you and tightly roll the bread away from you. The pumpkin cream cheese at the far end will seal the roll.
  • Trim about 1/4″ from each end and slice into 1-in wide pieces.

I used all the bread, turkey and pumpkin cream cheese and only half of the relish and spinach to make 45 sandwich rolls. Cost of the ingredients came to $18.55, which comes to $0.42 per sandwich – not bad for an school lunch entree, I think.