There is no doubt that Mary, the cook at the Vicarage, St. Mary Mead can’t cook. On this particular Monday luncheon, she served boiled beef and dumplings, greens, and rice pudding. Actually, she served (or banged on the table) a tough boiled beef, soggy dumplings, and a half cooked rice pudding (nothing was mentioned about the greens other than that they were banged down onto the table in a chipped dish).
Boiled beef and dumplings is to this day a popular meal in the UK. It is served with carrots and dumplings frequently- boiled beef in my home was made with carrots, potato and onion.
Rationing persisted in England after WWII into the 1950s, with meat being one of the last items to be discontinued from rations. Perhaps we are being too tough on Mary- perhaps her beef really was a poor quality (or not beef at all!)