1. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, stir together the shortening, sugar, molasses, and egg until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Stir until completely smooth. Divide dough in half. Between two pieces of waxed paper, roll each half of dough 1/4-inch thick. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
2. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease 2 cookie sheets. Remove top sheet of waxed paper and cut dough with a floured 5-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter. Transfer cutouts to prepared cookie sheets. (If dough is too soft, refrigerate until firm.) Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely. Reroll scraps and refrigerate. Repeat with remaining dough. Decorate as desired. Makes 1-1/2 dozen.