my mother has made this for years and i wouldn't try it. so while playing a card game, if i lost i had to try it. well, i tried it and just love it. its not the prettiest salad but i even eat it for a snack.
mix the sugar, vinegar, and water using a whisk. add the other ingredients except the tomatoes. do this the night before. stir once in awhile. just before serving add the tomatoes. this will keep a week in the ref without the tomatoes.