In the nineties, I went to college in Canada, a long way from my home in South Carolina. One snowy weekend, my mother came for a visit. Because I was in class when she arrived — and you can't skip class the day your mother arrives — I left her a key. When I walked in the door at the end of the day, knocking the snow from my boots and shaking it from my scarf and coat, I inhaled a smell I had forgotten; my mother had a pot of what we called "spaghetti sauce" on the stove. Our spaghetti sauce, I now understand, was a cross between bolognese and puttanesca, and it was delicious.
Making lasagna in the slow cooker lets me pretend my mom is home.