In a medium sized bowl, we mix the bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, romano cheese, and some salt and pepper with a fork. We taste to make sure it has enough salt and pepper and then set the mixture aside.
We remove the artichokes from the water and drain. We then prepare them by cutting off the stem so that it will sit flat. We also cut off about an inch of the top. We could also trim each leaf with scissors to be more elegant, but we do not bother here. We rub the artichokes with the lemon half to keep them from turning brown. We do not bother to try and remove the inner “hairy part” which is very fibrous. We will remove it with a spoon as we eat them. Using our knife, we trim and peel the stems and rub them with the lemon as well.
We rinse the bowl the artichokes soaked in, add more water, a little lemon juice to acidulate the water and soak one artichoke and the stems while we stuff the other.
Meanwhile, in our large pot, we place our collapsible metal steamer. We have cooked artichokes before without the steamer insert but sometimes they fall over into the water and we hope this prevents them from getting water-logged. We want the water to just come up through the steamer holes, about half an inch above, so that the artichokes can steam instead of boil. We add the bay leaf and squeeze the rest of the lemon juice into the water. We place the pot on the stove, over medium heat, and bring it to a boil.
We spoon half the bread crumb mixture in between the artichoke leaves with a teaspoon, spreading the leaves to get the mixture into the artichoke. We set it aside, drain the other artichoke, and repeat.
We put the artichokes into the boiling water, keeping the stems in the bowl of acidulated water. We do not want the bottom leaves of the artichoke to be completely submerged. We drizzle the olive oil over the artichokes and simmer on low, covered, for about 30 minutes (checking occasionally to be sure the water does not evaporate).
After about 30 minutes of simmering, we add the two stems and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes.
When the artichokes are tender when picked up with tongs and pierced on the bottom with a knife, we remove them from the water. We serve them hot or cold.