Artichokes are eaten in many ways in Italy, from sliced paper thin and eaten raw as a salad to cut up and stewed lightly with garlic, parsley and wine. This recipe works well with small as well as large artichokes.
Squeeze the lemon, and put the juice and the squeezed halves in a large bowl of cold water. Wash the artichokes and prepare them one at a time. Cut off only the tip from the stem. Peel the stem using a small knife, pulling upwards towards the leaves. Pull off the small leaves around the stem, and continue snapping off the upper part of the dark outer leaves until you reach the taller inner leaves.
Slice the very top of the leaves off. Cut the artichoke into 4 or 6 segments. Cut out the choke from each segment. Place in the acidulated water while you prepare the other artichokes.
Blanch the artichokes in a large pan of rapidly boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes. Drain.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and parsley, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the artichokes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the water and the milk, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the wine, cover and cook until the artichokes are tender. Serve hot or at room temperature.