Well, I'd just posted on the San Francisco Message Board that I'd had some good gumbo for lunch today. Then, I started thinking about my expectations and defining what I expect in gumbo. Not muddy, but I want the flavors to meld. I want spice and heat, and thyme, parsley, garlic, cumin and bay leaf and celery-onion-green peppers. I want briny shrimp and crab on occasion. I want chicken and andouille sausage always. Sometimes I want file and okra, but not always. I want a good color of roux but not burnt. My perfect gumbo is not just one kind, it's what goes into the pot that day and it tastes really, really good on rice. Maybe it's a state of mind, but, whatever it takes to get me there is good gumbo. Or, close enough.