Key Ingredients
Season 1, episode 7
Regina and Lydia take a cooking class together
Episode Information

November 7, 2005

Written by
Directed by

Mark Cendrowski

Episode Guide

The Heartbreak Kid


The Wedding


Key Ingredients is the seventh episode of Out of Practice.


Oliver comes up to Ben in the diner as he hangs up his phone. He tells Ben it's getting cold outside. Ben says it's cold in the will call line at Madison Square Garden, where Oliver was supposed to meet him last night. Oliver says he already apologized and doesn't know why Ben's upset. Ben says Oliver flakes on him all the time and he's tired of it. He says it better not happen tonight. Oliver says it won't, but he forgot what they're supposed to be doing tonight. Ben reminds him that they're taking a cooking class. Oliver says he'll be there because someone told him they were crawling with women. Ben's the one who told him that. Lydia comes in with Regina and says she doesn't know why Regina wants to disfigure herself. Regina wants to get a small tattoo on her lower back. Ben says he told Regina not to tell her about it and Oliver says he told Ben not to tell their mom he knew about it. Regina asks if it matters to her mom that she thinks it's beautiful, but Lydia thinks that's just the infection talking. Regina says she can't deal today, so she's skipping lunch. She thinks Lydia's upset because she's not the only thing permanently on Regina's ass anymore. On her way out, she passes Stewart, who greets her on his way to the table. He and Lydia talk about Regina's tattoo. Stewart says he's done rash things like that before, too. Lydia asks Oliver to get her a coffee as she heads to the bathroom. Stewart is left with Ben and asks him to watch a fight on pay-per-view with him. Ben says he has plans, but he's surprised Stewart doesn't have plans with Crystal. Stewart says they're not joined at the hip and rants for a moment about that, causing Ben to ask if everything's all right with them. Stewart says it's fine, but Ben says he and Oliver are going to a cooking class to meet single women. Stewart tells him that it's not hard to figure out which women are single and why. He again asks Ben out. Oliver comes back with Lydia's coffee and Ben says they should order. Oliver made plans with a friend, even though he'd already made plans with Ben. After Oliver leaves to go to his friend, Ben asks what time the fight is.

Ben arrives at home, where Stewart is drinking and smoking a cigar. Ben missed the first fight, two women, which Stewart didn't care for. Ben says it'll be great. He then asks how Stewart got in just in time for Oliver to come out of the kitchen. Ben sent Lydia in his place and Oliver sent Regina.

At the class, Regina and Lydia aren't speaking to each other. The instructor, Vivian Strom, introduces herself and starts the class. She says there's no better way for family to show they care than by preparing and eating a meal together. Regina says she'll kill Ollie and eat him. They fight over being there together and then Regina uses her phone to take a picture of two beautiful women to send to Oliver to ruin his night. From the next station, Laura and Patty introduce themselves, saying they overheard that they're a mother-daughter team, too. Lydia and Regina are weirded out. Laura and Patty take these kinds of classes all the time. It helps to have a system, dividing up the labor. Laura does the chopping and Patty does the grating. Lydia quips that she's sure they both have a flair for grating. Vivian continues the class, saying they have everything they need at their stations to make a six-course Tuscan meal. Lydia says that's a lot to learn in an hour, but the class is actually four hours. Regina says she's leaving. Lydia stops her and says it makes them sound pathetic that they can't spend one evening together. Regina reminds her that it's four hours and says they should start small, like sharing the elevator on the way out. She's not even sure she fits in with this crowd. Lydia mocks her, saying she's a lesbian, so this isn't her thing. Her saying that she's a lesbian catches the attention of Chef Vivian, who approaches them and offers to help. Regina knows that Vivian thinks she's a lesbian, but Lydia is oblivious. Regina agrees to stay, saying it will be fun.

Stewart, Oliver, and Ben are waiting for the fight to start. Stewart shows off his new watch from Cartier. He bought it for himself as a treat. He says they could learn a lot from the fighters, who have no fear. Just then the doorbell rings and Crystal calls out that it's her, causing Stewart to flee from the room to hide. Ben gets the door and Crystal says she's looking for Stewart. She says Stewart said not to come over because he's sick, so she thought she should come right over. But Stewart wasn't home. She got him a sandwich and a salad. She pulls out the salad and asks if they see anything special about the salad because she was offered "Super Salad (soup or salad)" with the sandwich. Crystal leaves to take the food upstairs.

Stewart comes out from hiding and says he hid because he gave Crystal a key to let a plumber in and she thought he gave her the key to be hers. She uses it to pop in anytime she wants. Oliver says he should change the locks, but Ben says to be honest. Oliver says he's wrong and manipulates Ben into apologizing the way he says Crystal will if Stewart is honest with her. Oliver says just to ask for the key back. Stewart says he'll do it after one more round. Oliver says to forget the fight, but Stewart meant his drink. He leaves to go confront Crystal. Oliver gets the picture from Regina and he and Ben regret skipping the class.

Stewart meets Crystal getting off the elevator and she says he shouldn't be out if he's sick. He lies that he thought the fresh air would do him good. She asks about the cigar and he says he used it to warm himself up. She takes his excuse because he's the doctor. She tells him she left him dinner and fanned out his magazines like at the office. He thanks her and tries to tells her he feels weird about her having the key. She misunderstands and gives him a key to her apartment. He says he needs to lie down.

Regina and Lydia watch Patty and Laura make the perfect pasta while they struggle with theirs. Laura tells them they'll get it and to be patient. Lydia is dubious. Vivian comes to check on them and helps them rescue their pasta. She and Lydia knead the dough together as Regina watches. Lydia tells Vivian that she and Stewart used to go to her restaurant often. Vivian is surprised that Lydia was married, but when Lydia says it was a mistake, Vivian says she's been there. Regina takes a picture of the two of them together.

Stewart returns and has to confess to Oliver and Ben what happened. Oliver starts to tell him the next step, but Stewart says he's out and Ben's in. He has to hurry because Stewart's down there to borrow an electric blanket, which he plans to use in the tub, as far as Crystal knows. Ben starts to give him advice and Crystal comes in. He lies that he's drinking cough medicine. Crystal knows it's alcohol. Stewart doesn't want to fight in front of his kids, but they've both escaped to the kitchen. He confesses that he's nervous, not sick. They sit down and explains how he feels. When he puts his hand in his pocket, she thinks he's proposing. She saw the Cartier receipt and doesn't listen when he says it was a watch. She implores him to continue. He says they shouldn't rush into it and dismisses himself to the kitchen.

In the kitchen, they offer him water and talk about what is happening. He says he should have never given Crystal the key or even called a plumber. He'd be a free man if he had just been willing to jiggle the handle. He doesn't want to hear anymore of their advice. He goes back to the living room.

In the living room, Crystal says they should wait before getting engaged. Stewart goes along with it. Crystal still wants to see the ring, but since there isn't one, Stewart says no. She leaves to go make them some dinner. She asks if he's upset and he says he's never loved her more than at this moment. She leaves.

Oliver and Ben come out of the kitchen and are excited that Crystal turned him down. Ben says it's back to guys' night, but Stewart has to leave because Crystal's making dinner. Oliver gets another picture from Regina. It loads slowly and it's two women with nice bodies. When it fully loads, they see that it's their mom and are horrified.

The class is over and they're drinking wine. Vivian says their lasagna is perfection. Lydia and Regina think they've learned a lot from the class, like cooking comes down to getting the right ingredients and getting out of the way while the professionals do the work. They watch as Vivian tries Patty and Laura's lasagna, which has a strange bite because Regina and Lydia added paprika to their sauce. Vivian comes back and offers to cook for Lydia sometime. Lydia says she'd love it and they set a tentative date. After she leaves, Regina says she made a date. Laura and Patty leaving, saying they're happy about Lydia and Vivian because she's been so sad since Selma left. They think lesbians are neat. It's one of the reasons they come into the city. That and musical theater. They leave.

Lydia asks if everyone in there thought she was gay. Regina asks if that embarrasses her. Lydia denies is, but Regina wants her to admit that it freaks her out. They never talked about how she feels about Regina being gay. Lydia says she supports Regina in whatever she does, but Regina says that's the perfect response from the perfect parent handbook. Regina says it feels like under the acceptance, she's disappointed. Lydia says she wasn't thrilled when Regina came out, but it wasn't disappointment. She just thought she knew how Regina's life would unfold, but she was wrong and she knows nothing about the way her life has gone. Regina says her date with Vivian will catch her up. Lydia says she never stopped wanting what was best for Regina. She just stopped knowing what that was. Regina is shocked that Lydia admitted that she doesn't know what's best. Lydia hopes she enjoyed it because she won't hear it again anytime soon. Lydia tries to set Regina up with Vivian, but Regina says she won't take Lydia's leftovers.

Ben and Oliver are at their own cooking class, but there are no beautiful women. Oliver says none of the women are screaming, "I'm young. I'm hot. I need a man tonight." The chef overhears that and comes over with a smile. Ben says they'll give it another five minutes.


  • Ben Barnes
  • Regina Barnes
  • Oliver Barnes
  • Crystal
  • Stewart Barnes
  • Lydia Barnes
  • Vivian Strom
  • Patty (left) and Laura

Main CastEdit

Guest StarringEdit

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • This episode was produced as the tenth episode, but aired as the seventh.


See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.