The roux is the base for a gumbo. It is equal parts of flour and fat (most use butter). The trick to the roux is to get is as dark a color you can without burning it. That's where an old-fashioned cast iron skillet works the best. Cook it low and slow until the roux is the color of caramel or brown gravy. Once you've attained the color in the roux, you'll need the "holy trinity" of vegetables in gumbo--bell pepper, onion and celery. Cook those until tender. Once the vegetables are tender, you may want to pour the roux and vegetable mixture into a soup or stock pot. Next you'll add your liquid--water, chicken stock, or seafood stock, or if you don't have stock, bullion will work. You'll add some cut okra, tomatoes and a few (I'd recommend 4 to 6) bay leaves. If your boyfriend loves spicy, and if you can find it in your area, add some andouille sausage. For your seafood, you can use crab, oysters and shrimp--any or all of them. If you use shrimp, shrimp cooks quickly so add those in the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. Before serving, be sure to remove the bay leaves. If the gumbo is not spicy enough for you your boyfriend, add dashes of hot sauce to taste. You can serve over or without rice. You can also add gumbo file, but that's not necessary. All it is is ground sassafras leaves. It adds a little flavor to the gumbo.