Skillman and Abrams shopping center

Businesses based on homestyle meal delivery, or prepped ingredients for delicious dinners, are booming. A favorite of the genre among Lake Highlanders — Mrs. Gridiron — soon will be more accessible and visible to us, thanks to a new Skillman-Abrams storefront. 

Busy parents, for varying levels of effort and money, can put dinner like Mom (make that the 1950s TV wives in some cases) used to make on the table, even as they take emergency calls from work, drive to and fro practices, help with homework, hit the gym, coach a little league team … all sans the guilt of filling your children’s precious bodies with greasy, mass produced drive-thru fare. (Don’t worry, Jake’s, I will continue to line my own belly with those fried bottle caps).

Mrs. Gridiron — officially Caroline Hattemer, wife of Lake Highlands High School football coach Nathan Hattemer — produces made-from-scratch meals for delivery to Lake Highlands, East Dallas and Preston Hollow.

Think lasagna, casseroles, tetrazzini, pot pies and even breakfast dishes such as baked oatmeal cups with strawberry yogurt. Several menu items can come gluten free upon request.

The “Gridiron” family will bring tasty, healthy meals to local tables

We previously published a story about Hattemer, who told us that “food, entertaining and cooking have been an enormous part of my life from the very beginning. My mom was truly an amazing cook and my parents entertained often,” she said. “My dad was head of public relations for Neiman Marcus for years while I was growing up. This brought many things to our family, two of which were a need to entertain and an introduction to Helen Corbitt, the head chef of the Zodiac Room. My mom and Helen formed a fast friendship and Helen invited my mom to be her sous chef at Helen’s cooking classes for ladies.”

All of this bred in Hattemer not only a love of and knack for cooking, but also a unique attention to detail,  a genuine love of making people feel special and comfortable, and a fondness for creating what she calls “fellowship” — that’s an homage to her late mother, who “knew just how to bring everything together to create a moment where time stood still and guests were present.”

At the time she was running the business strictly online, using social media and email — which will still be vital to her model — but, now, a year later, the sign is up and the Mrs. Gridiron shop is about to open at the soon-to-be redeveloped Creekside shopping center, home of the future Alamo Drafthouse. So, nice location, Mrs. Gridiron — well played. Here she will continue to expand services and share her passion for the four Fs that are so important to her: “Food, Family, Fellowship and Football,” as she notes on her blog.

A few new services will be available at the store, open hopefully in May or early June, Hattemer says.

“In addition to the fresh-cooked, from-scratch meals that will still be available for pickup and delivery from our rotating monthly menu, we will also have ready-to-go items that you can drop in and pick up any time,” she says. “These will include dinners, lunch such as soups and salads, snacks, breakfast such as muffins, sausage balls and cinnamon rolls, desserts, breakfast and dinner casseroles and homemade ice cream. The menu of ready-to-go items will also rotate, although not as often as the delivered meals menu. We will also be doing cooking classes for kids and adults and are very much looking forward to our monthly community dinners where customers will join in a foodie night of fellowship. We will have guest chefs from time to time. Lastly, we will expand our catering menu options and look forward to launching more products in early 2018. As for the blog we will be introducing some new sections including all things tailgate and how to fuel your athlete both in and out of season.”

The website already features a useful recipe/cooking/baking blog, sales of packaged sauces, herbs and gift certificates and gift packages as well as detailed instructions about how to place your order and delivery areas.

Interested parties can also follow her progress on the Facebook page, on Instagram or Pinterest.