Put the molasses and baking soda in a bowl. Mix thoroughly by hand using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Add the shortening and the buttermilk. Mix again. Add the ginger, salt and flour. Mix all by hand until you have fairly stiff dough.
Now set this bowl of dough in your refrigerator. Leave it there for about 3 hours.
When you are ready to bake, grease your cookie sheet. Form the dough into one-inch diameter balls and roll the balls in white sugar. Place them on the cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes. You can squish them down if you want but, if you truly like your molasses cookies to be moist, this is not necessary. They will spread while they bake and they will keep a moist center.
In between batches of cookies in the oven, I put the dough back in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
After they come out of the oven, let the baked cookies sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two to firm up. Then gently remove them from the cookie sheet and set on a hard surface to cool. Your countertop will work well. You will find these to be divine warm from the oven, or you can store them for later.