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That overflowing gadget drawer

Ammericans are gadget-happy. According to a recent poll conducted by Tupperware, more than half of those polled own up to 10 kitchen gadgets, 18 percent have between 10 and 20, 7 percent possess up to 30, and 6 percent claim ownership of more than 50.

Even with all those potato mashers and lid openers, most of us are in the market for more gadgets. On the wish list for many: a chopper and a kitchen timer.

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We store these kitchen gadgets in kitchen drawers (35 percent), on pantry shelves (28 percent), and in countertop canisters (24 percent).

The ones we use most often will come as no surprise - can openers (34 percent) and spatulas (28 percent). To prepare a meal, 39 percent of respondents say the kitchen tool they most frequently use is a knife; 27 percent indicate measuring cups and spoons; 20 percent utilize spatulas; and a tiny minority (3 percent) put the whisk at the top of their list.

Why do we collect all these utensils? To cut minutes off of meal preparation. More than 95 percent of those polled say gadgets help them save time in the kitchen. More than a third believe that gadgets help them save a great deal of time, while close to half report that gadgets save some kitchen time.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor