In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, baking soda, and cloves; set aside. In a large mixer bowl beat together brown sugar and shortening until well combined; beat in eggs. Add pumpkin and milk; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar-pumpkin mixture, mixing well. Stir in chopped nuts and the raisins, if using.
Turn batter into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in a zip-lock bag and store overnight before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.