In saucepan combine 6 cups water, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon mixed pickling spices, and 2 branches celery; bring to boiling.
Add 2 pounds fresh or frozen shrimp in shells or shelled.
Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer till shrimp turn pink, 1 to 3 minutes.
If cooked in shell, peel shrimp; remove black vein.
Note: Vinegar and spices may be omitted when using shrimp for highly seasoned dishes.