One whole artichoke per person
1/2 stick of butter per person
1 lemon or real lemon juice
2 large cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
salt to taste
First put your steamer on the stove filled about half way with water turn on High.
Cut the lemon into wedges. Take half of the slices and squeeze them into your pot of water. Drop the lemon slices in.
Peel and cut the garlic cloves in half. Add them to the water along with the bay leaves.
Peal the a few of the leaves off near the stem. They don't taste that good anyway. I generally take off about a two layers.
Next I cut the tip of the artichoke deep enough to expose the inner layers. My general rule is to leave three or four visible outer layers starting from the stem.
Trim the stem so that it will fit in your steamer. Next clip the ends of the outer exposed leaves.
Place it in the steamer covered for 15 minutes on high. When that time is up, turn the burner down to medium and steam for one hour.
Check periodically to make sure you don't run out of water. Believe me it has happened before and it wasn't pretty.
About 5-10 minutes before the artichokes are done place half a stick of butter in an oven safe (or toaster oven safe) small dish. Heat until it is melted through. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. I prefer more lemon than most people so let them make their own.
Carefully put the steamed artichoke on a plate along with the small butter dish and serve.