Soak them in cold water, wash them well, then put them into plenty of boiling water, with a handful of salt, and let them boil gently till they are tender, which will take an hour and a half, or two hours; the surest way to know when they are done enough, is to draw out a leaf; trim them and drain them on a sieve; and set up melted butter with them, which some put into small cups, so that each guest may have one.
The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner, MD, New York, 1829
Comment: The cooking of artichokes is a delicate subject, depending on such variables as the way the vegetable has been trimmed before putting on to heat and of course on the preferences of the diners. Dr. Kitchiner gives excellent advice on matters of presentation as well as cooking itself–take to heart the suggestion about separate melted-butter cups for each diner whether the artichokes are being served at a fancy party or a regular family meal. It is not a substance you want to have being passed back and forth around the table if you value your linens, or your guests their clothing.