This section is from the book "The International Cook Book", by Alexander Filippini. Also available from Amazon: The international cook book; over 3,300 recipes gathered from all over the world, including many never before published in English. With complete menus of the three meals for every day.
To first degree. - Place two pounds granulated sugar in copper basin with a half pint cold water and set basin on open fire. Have a bowl with some ice water standing by. Let sugar boil for a minute, take up a little syrup with skimmer, quickly dip index finger in syrup in skimmer, immediately close the two fingers and quickly open. If a weak, short thread forms between fingers let boil for two minutes longer; the thread will then be stronger and sugar will have attained the first degree.
To second degree. - Boil sugar a little longer, dip in skimmer, take up and blow sugar off into pan. If any bubbles form in holes of skimmer it has reached the second degree.
To third degree. - Boil a little longer, dip in skimmer again, take up and sharply shake, and if it flies like feathers it has attained the third degree.
To fourth degree. - Continue to boil a few minutes more, dip stick the size of a lead-pencil into sugar, immediately take up and plunge in ice water. If sugar cracks at touch it has reached the fourth degree.
To fifth degree. - Squeeze in juice of a lemon, and when it has obtained a nice light brown colour it will have attained the fifth degree - or a caramel.