For shrimp and okra gumbo:

* 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons of flour
* l large chopped onion
* 1 cup chopped celery
* 5 or 6 cloves, chopped garlic
* 1 cup of chopped green pepper
* 1 can of tomato sauce
* 1 can of tomatoes ("Rotel" tomatoes for a spicier taste!)
* 1 pound, fresh sliced okra (or 2 boxes of frozen sliced okra)
* 2 pounds of fresh shrimp
* 2 - 3 cups water
* salt & pepper to taste
* 1 teaspoon of sugar
* 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
* 1 bay leaf

For seafood gumbo, add to the above:

* 1 small can of crabmeat or 3 fresh gumbo crabs
* 1 jar oysters

* Slowly stir the flour into heated oil in a heavy cast iron skillet. Continue to stir until the flour is dark brown. Add the next 4 ingredients; stir until onions are clear.
* Add tomato sauce. Stir until it gets crumbly or dry. Fry okra in another skillet until it is no longer sticky or stringy. Add tomatoes and fried okra.
* Cook slowly, adding 2 to 3 cups of water--a little at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in one teaspoon of sugar.
* Cook for about an hour on a low fire, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of pot; adding water if necessary. Add the shrimp and the bay leaf (and if desired, the oysters and crabmeat).
* Cook another 30 minutes to an hour, adding seasoning to taste.
* Serve over boiled or steamed rice.