In my family, seafood gumbo is the ultimate dish to prepare and eat. Gumbo is always an event, because it's absolutely delicious, labor intensive, and loaded with familial memories. Not a complicated dish, it has definite quirks. You must prepare a dark brown, (or black, if you're a gumbo master) roux, which can take an hour or two of constant stirring. And there are the shrimps, massive amounts of them, which require teams of people, peeling and deveining until you feel your sanity start to slip. The kids had the job of peeling shrimp, and I'm convinced that the major reason people have children in my family is to ensure a steady pool of shrimp laborers. Until my mom died, I never put the gumbo together. I never had that honor. I just peeled shrimp for hours until I wanted to scream, while my mom and her sisters argued the finer points of sauteeing the vegetables, or the proper color for the roux. Try peeling 20-40 pounds of shrimp. The last time my cousins and I did that amount, about 15 years ago, we wound up fighting and throwing shrimp at each other. When I was a child, gumbo was a cheap dish to prepare. My grandmother would go to the docks and buy shrimp for less than a dollar a pound. And she caught her own beautiful blue crabs. Now, gumbo is quite pricey to make. I made a pot of it for Thanksgiving and wound up paying almost $200 for the shrimp and crab. Small wonder that I rarely make it now.