Just cooking artichokes may not seem like a full recipe, but so much of cooking artichokes is preperation and knowing what to cut and cook and how, that I count it as a real recipe. Artichokes are easy to cook but also easy to get wrong. What you're really cooking is a giant, weird tasting flower. Not a vegetable or tuber or anything else that generally goes in this taste category. But as always, if you do as Julia Child says, you'll come out alright.
Remove stem by bending at the base until it snaps off, thus detaching with the stem any tough filaments which may pushed up into the heart
Break off the small leaves at the base of the artichoke. Trim the base with a knife so the artichoke will stand solidly upright.
Lay the artichoke on its side and slice three quarters of an inch off the top center cone of the leaves. Trim off the points of the rest of the leaves with shears. Wash under cold running water.
Rub the cut portions of the artichoke with lemon juice. Drop it into a basin of cold water containing one tablespoon of vinegar per quart of water. The acid prevents the artichoke from discoloring.
Drop the prepared artichokes into the boiling, salted water. To help prevent discoloration, lay over the artichokes or pot the cheesecloth/dishtowel. bring the water back to a rapid boil as quickly as possible and then boil slowly, uncovered, 35-45 minutes. The artichokes are done when the leaves pull out easily and the bottoms are tender when pierced with a knife.
Immediately remove them from the pot with the slotted spoon and drian upside down in the colander.
Dip the thick ends of the leaves in the butter, removing the "meat" with your teeth.